clear

1 of 4

adjective

1
a
: bright, luminous
bonfires clear and brightShakespeare
b
: cloudless
specifically : less than one-tenth covered
a clear sky
c
: free from mist, haze, or dust
a clear day
d
: untroubled, serene
a clear gaze
2
: clean, pure: such as
a
: free from blemishes
clear skin
b
: easily seen through : transparent
clear glass
clear plastic bags
c
: free from abnormal sounds on auscultation
3
a
: easily heard
a loud and clear sound
b
: easily visible : plain
a clear signal
c
: free from obscurity or ambiguity : easily understood : unmistakable
a clear explanation
4
a
: capable of sharp discernment : keen
a clear thinker
b
: free from doubt : sure
not clear on how to proceed
5
: free from guile or guilt : innocent
a clear conscience
6
: unhampered by restriction or limitation: such as
a
: free of debts or charges
a clear estate
b
: net
a clear profit
c
: unqualified, absolute
a clear victory
d
: free from obstruction
clear passage
e
: emptied of contents or cargo
A ship is clear after unloading.
f
: free from entanglement or contact
staying clear of controversy
keep clear of the boundary
g
: bare, denuded
clear ground
clearness noun

clear

2 of 4

adverb

1
: in a clear manner
to cry loud and clear
2
: all the way
drove clear across the state

clear

3 of 4

verb

cleared; clearing; clears

transitive verb

1
a
: to make clear or translucent
clear the water by filtering
b
: to free from pollution or cloudiness
clear the atmosphere
2
: to free from accusation or blame : exonerate, vindicate
the opportunity to clear himself
3
a
: to give insight to : enlighten
clear my mind about the new arrangement
b
: to make intelligible : explain
clear up the mystery
4
a
: to free from what obstructs or is unneeded: such as
(1)
: open sense 1b
clear a path
(2)
: to remove unwanted growth or items from
clear the land of timber
(3)
: to rid or make a rasping noise as if ridding (the throat) of phlegm
needed to clear my throat
(4)
: to erase stored or displayed data from (a device, such as a computer or calculator)
b
: to empty of occupants
clear the room
c
: disentangle
clear a fishing line
d
: to remove from an area or place
clear the dishes from the table
5
a
: to submit for approval
clear it with me first
b
: authorize, approve
cleared the article for publication
: such as
(1)
: to certify as trustworthy
clear a person for classified information
(2)
: to permit (an aircraft) to proceed usually with a specified action
the plane was cleared to land
6
a
: to free from obligation or encumbrance
b
: settle, discharge
clear an account
c(1)
: to free (a ship or shipment) by payment of duties or harbor fees
(2)
: to pass through (customs)
d
: to gain without deduction : net
clear a profit
e
: to put through a clearinghouse
clear a check
7
a
: to go over, under, or by without touching
the ball just cleared the uprights
b
: to move through successfully : pass
the bill cleared the legislature

intransitive verb

1
a
: to become clear
it cleared up quickly after the rain
b
: to go away : vanish
the symptoms cleared gradually
c
: sell
Hogs cleared at steady rates.
2
a
: to obtain permission to discharge cargo
b
: to conform to regulations or pay requisite fees prior to leaving port
The ship cleared yesterday and is ready to sail.
3
: to pass through a clearinghouse
4
: to go to an authority (as for approval) before becoming effective
All tax bills must clear through our committee.
clearable adjective

clear

4 of 4

noun

1
: a clear space or part
2
: a high arcing shot over an opponent's head in badminton
Phrases
clear the air or less commonly clear the atmosphere
: to remove elements of hostility, tension, confusion, or uncertainty
had a long meeting to clear the air
clear the decks
: to make sweeping preparations for action
in the clear
1
: in inside measurement
corridors three feet in the clear
2
: free from guilt or suspicion
The jury's decision was that he was in the clear.
3
: in plaintext : not in code or cipher
a message sent in the clear
Choose the Right Synonym for clear

clear, transparent, translucent, limpid mean capable of being seen through.

clear implies absence of cloudiness, haziness, or muddiness.

clear water

transparent implies being so clear that objects can be seen distinctly.

a transparent sheet of film

translucent implies the passage of light but not a clear view of what lies beyond.

translucent frosted glass

limpid suggests the soft clearness of pure water.

her eyes were limpid pools of blue

clear, perspicuous, lucid mean quickly and easily understood.

clear implies freedom from obscurity, ambiguity, or undue complexity.

clear instructions

perspicuous applies to a style that is simple and elegant as well as clear.

a perspicuous style

lucid suggests a clear logical coherence and evident order of arrangement.

a lucid explanation

synonyms see in addition evident

Example Sentences

Adjective There are clear differences between the two candidates. She's the clear favorite to win the election. I'm not completely happy with the plan, but I see no clear alternative. He was the clear winner. She has made it abundantly clear that she does not support us. It's not clear how much longer we'll have to wait. “Changes will have to be made.” “Yes, that's clear.” Her writing has a clear style. The instructions weren't very clear about when we were supposed to begin. I think I have a clear understanding of the problem. Adverb We drove clear across the state. The ball rolled clear across the street. Verb The sky cleared after the rain. The weather is cloudy now, but it's clearing gradually. The morning fog gradually cleared. When the smoke cleared, we could see that the building had been completely destroyed. The water cleared after the mud had settled. My skin cleared when I started using the cream. They cleared timber from the land. She cleared everything out of the closet. I'll clear those books out of the way. The police ordered the crowd to clear the area. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
How the STARS Tour programs might affect that total isn’t clear yet. Dave Kallmann, Journal Sentinel, 28 Jan. 2023 What is also clear is that leaders of businesses, just like those of governments, have to stop thinking of the sort of events that are buffeting them as only happening once in a lifetime. Roger Trapp, Forbes, 28 Jan. 2023 For great quarterbacks such as Mahomes, Allen, Burrow, and Herbert, the choice is clear — pay the quarterback top dollar, as long as the salary-cap dollars can be structured so as not to cripple the team. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, 28 Jan. 2023 Prosecutors, however, have said that what happened was clear — and that DePape himself outlined his actions in tapes like those just released. Justine Mcdaniel, Washington Post, 27 Jan. 2023 If you are stopped in heavy snow, make sure the area around your tailpipe is clear to avoid poisonous carbon monoxide exhaust fumes backing up into the vehicle. Joe Difazio, USA TODAY, 27 Jan. 2023 To anyone watching, the message was clear: Asian American motherhood was a trend that could pass, not an identity to be represented. Ella King, Harper's BAZAAR, 27 Jan. 2023 But to be clear, what the Biden administration is doing is flat-out contrary to federal law. Fox News Staff, Fox News, 27 Jan. 2023 But here’s what is clear: Person Y, and everyone else in the company (except maybe its AI wizards), are now a little less certain about their status. Steven Levy, WIRED, 27 Jan. 2023
Adverb
Relief needs in the earliest days of response may seem clear-cut. Patricia Mcilreavy, Forbes, 26 Jan. 2023 The rest: The other three spots are less clear-cut. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 23 Jan. 2023 For cases that aren’t so clear-cut, Coleman has guiding principles for knowing when the relationship is worth saving and when cutting ties is better. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 11 Jan. 2023 For Ricks, the decision was not nearly as clear-cut as Bryce Young or Will Anderson, or even his teammate in the secondary, Branch. Mike Rodak | Mrodak@al.com, al, 3 Jan. 2023 These results show that the issue of how much skin pigment affects pulse oximeters is not as clear-cut as many believe. Usha Lee Mcfarling, STAT, 16 Dec. 2022 This year’s choice was the most clear-cut in memory. Time, 7 Dec. 2022 The solutions won’t always be clear-cut, Engstrom added. oregonlive, 20 Nov. 2022 One constitutional law expert told ABC News the amendment's provisions are not as clear-cut as Cicilline and the legal group contend. Benjamin Siegel, ABC News, 16 Nov. 2022
Verb
To clear the debris that’s causing the bump, use a cotton swab to dot on a spot treatment with salicylic acid as precisely as possible (try Mario Badescu Drying Lotion). Jennifer G. Sullivan, Allure, 30 Jan. 2023 During a telephone hearing last Wednesday, Rudofsky denied a motion by Humphrey to enter final judgment on the first two claims, which was made to clear the way for an appeal of the ruling to the 8th Circuit. Dale Ellis, Arkansas Online, 30 Jan. 2023 During the summer, Golub went on, the occupation authorities asked his brigade to take part in reconstruction works and to clear an area for a new sewage pipe. Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, 30 Jan. 2023 But there are high hurdles to clear for any enterprising lawyer looking to bring such a suit on behalf of a citizen or pensioner. Ron Lieber, New York Times, 30 Jan. 2023 Police and tow trucks arrived to clear the vehicles, and the Spinosas rode to a tow yard off Mission Gorge Road. San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Jan. 2023 Yet to the notion of Lowry becoming more valuable in the offseason as an expiring contract, the league largely has ceased coveting such deals as a means to clear salary-cap space. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 28 Jan. 2023 This tells you how wide of a path the snowblower can clear in one pass. Bobbi Dempsey, Popular Mechanics, 27 Jan. 2023 However, another source indicated not all the paperwork had been officially signed, and there were still hurdles to clear before any expansion team would be awarded. Marisa Ingemi, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 Jan. 2023
Noun
After a partial clear and a sloppy line change left the Stars to defend a 3 on 2, neither Denis Gurianov nor Tyler Seguin covered Fiala driving to the net. Dallas News, 14 Apr. 2022 What made his and Marcus’s decision clear was the standard to which UVA’s players are held. Alex Vejar, The Salt Lake Tribune, 27 Oct. 2021 Eagles coach Denise Wolf said adjustments designed to improve clears and get better looks off corners helped keep her team in strong contention, particularly in a back-and-forth first half. Rich Scherr, baltimoresun.com, 1 Nov. 2019 Although the public health guidelines are clear - steer clear of others - these workers are putting in longer shifts and taking on bigger workloads. Author: Abha Bhattarai, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Apr. 2020 But steer clear of buying this for gamers looking for a traditional Sonic or Mario platformers: This might be a loser for them. Lisa Marie Segarra, Fortune, 5 Dec. 2019 Brady adds that Kennedy, who has committed to play at Virginia Tech, was just as valuable on defending clears thanks to her strong footwork. Brent Kennedy, baltimoresun.com, 10 June 2019 Off the beaches, Spanish mackerel will turn on as soon as winds drop and water clears, and cobia are also in the area around markers and other structure. Frank Sargeant, AL.com, 20 Apr. 2018 Brady adds that Kennedy, who has committed to play at Virginia Tech, was just as valuable on defending clears thanks to her strong footwork. Brent Kennedy, baltimoresun.com, 10 June 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clear.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective, Adverb, Verb, and Noun

Middle English clere, from Anglo-French cler, from Latin clarus clear, bright; akin to Latin calare to call — more at low entry 3

First Known Use

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1674, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of clear was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near clear

Cite this Entry

“Clear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/clear. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

clear

1 of 4 adjective
1
a
: shining brightly : luminous
clear sunlight
b
: free from clouds, haze, dust, or mist
a clear day
c
: free from trouble : serene
a clear gaze
2
a
: free of blemishes
a clear complexion
b
: easily seen through : transparent
clear glass
3
: easily heard, seen, or understood
a clear voice
the meaning was clear
4
: free from doubt : sure
a clear understanding of the issue
5
: free from guilt : innocent
a clear conscience
6
: free from restriction or entanglement
a clear profit
the coast is clear
clearness noun

clear

2 of 4 adverb
1
: in a clear manner
shout loud and clear
2
: all the way : completely
can see clear to the mountains
the hole goes clear through

clear

3 of 4 verb
1
a
: to make or become clear
clear the water by filtering
the sky is clearing
b
: to go away : vanish
clouds cleared away after the rain
2
: to free from blame
cleared my name
3
: to make understandable : explain
cleared the matter up for me
4
a
: to free from things blocking
clear land for crops
clear a path
b
: to remove stored or displayed data from (as a computer or calculator)
5
: to give or get approval
the proposal cleared the committee
6
: to pay in full : settle
clear an account
7
: to go through customs
8
: net entry 4
cleared a profit
9
: to get rid of : remove
clear the dishes from the table
10
: to go over or by without touching
cleared the fence
clearable adjective
clearer noun

clear

4 of 4 noun
: a clear space or part

Medical Definition

clear

1 of 2 adjective
1
a
of the skin or complexion : good in texture and color and without blemish or discoloration
b
of an animal coat : of uniform shade without spotting
2
: free from abnormal sounds on auscultation

clear

2 of 2 transitive verb
1
: to render (a specimen for microscopic examination) transparent by the use of an agent (as an essential oil) that modifies the index of refraction
2
: to rid (the throat) of phlegm or of something that makes the voice indistinct or husky

Legal Definition

clear

adjective
1
: unencumbered by outstanding claims or interests
a search showed the title was clear
2
: free from doubt or ambiguity

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