also cleanup, 1856, "act of cleaning up, a general cleaning," from clean + up. Meaning "a profit" is recorded from 1878. Verbal phrase clean up "make a large profit" is from 1929. The adjective, in the baseball sense, is recorded by 1910 in reference to the hitter who bats fourth in the lineup: His job is to drive in runs by scoring the players who hit before him and thus "clean up" the bases.
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