clear (adj.)

c. 1300, "giving light, shining, luminous;" also "not turbid; transparent, allowing light to pass through; free from impurities; morally pure, guiltless, innocent;" of colors, "bright, pure;" of weather or the sky or sea, "not stormy; mild, fair, not overcast, fully light, free from darkness or clouds;" of the eyes or vision, "clear, keen;" of the voice or sound, "plainly audible, distinct, resonant;" of the mind, "keen-witted, perspicacious;" of words or speech, "readily understood, manifest to the mind, lucid" (an Old English word for this was sweotol "distinct, clear, evident"); of land, "cleared, leveled;" from Old French cler "clear" (of sight and hearing), "light, bright, shining; sparse" (12c., Modern French clair), from Latin clarus "clear, loud," of sounds; figuratively "manifest, plain, evident," in transferred use, of sights, "bright, distinct;" also "illustrious, famous, glorious" (source of Italian chiaro, Spanish claro), from PIE *kle-ro-, from root *kele- (2) "to shout."

The prehistoric sense evolution to light and color involves an identification of the spreading of sound and the spreading of light (compare English loud, used of colors; German hell "clear, bright, shining," of pitch, "distinct, ringing, high").

Also in Middle English "beautiful, magnificent, excellent" (c. 1300); of possession or title, "unrestricted, unconditional, absolute," early 15c. Of complexion, from c. 1300. Sense of "free from encumbrance," later largely nautical, developed c. 1500. Meaning "obvious to the senses" is from 1835. Clear-sighted is from 1580s (clear-eyed is from 1520s); clear-headed is from 1709. For coast is clear see clear (v.).

clear (v.)

mid-14c., "make clear (an obscure subject) in the mind, explain, elucidate;" late 14c., "make clean, cleanse, purify; clarify (a liquid), remove what clouds or diminishes brightness or transparency;" also "prove innocent, vindicate;" of the weather, sea, sky, clouds, etc., "clear up, become fair or calm;" from clear (adj.).  Related: Cleared; clearing.

Intransitive sense of "become free from murkiness" is from 1580s. Meaning "to free from obstructions" is from 1520s; that of "to free from entanglement" is from 1590s; that of "pass (an obstacle) without entanglement or collision" is from 1630s. Sense of "to remove (something) out of the way" is from 1670s; that of "to clear land of trees and underbrush" is from 1690s. Meaning "to leap clear over" is first attested 1791. Meaning "to gain (a sum of money) in clear profit" is from 1719. Meaning "get approval for (a proposal, etc.) from authority" is from 1944; meaning "establish as suitable for national security work" is from 1948.

To clear (one's) throat is from 1881; earlier clear (one's) voice (1701). To clear out "depart, leave" (1825), perhaps is from the notion of ships satisfying customs, harbor regulations, etc., then setting sail. To get clear of is from 1590s. To clear up is from 1620s of weather, 1690s as "make clear to the mind." Clear the deck (1802) is from sailing ships. Clear the air in the figurative sense is from late 14c. To clear the coast (1520s) was to make it suitable for landing.

clear (adv.)

c. 1300, "completely, quite, entirely, wholly," c. 1300, from clear (adj.) or adverbial use of the adjective in Old French. From early 14c. as "plainly, lucidly;" mid-14c. as "loudly, with distinctness of sound;" late 14c. as "brightly, brilliantly."

clear (n.)

early 13c., in place names, "a clearing, a forest glade," from Old French noun use of the adjective (see clear (adj.)). In Middle English also "a beautiful person" (mid-14c.). From c. 1500 as "brightness." The notion in in the clear (1715) is "a clear space."

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Definitions of clear
clear (v.)
rid of obstructions;
Synonyms: unclutter
clear (v.)
make a way or path by removing objects;
clear (v.)
become clear;
The sky cleared after the storm
Synonyms: clear up / light up / brighten
clear (v.)
grant authorization or clearance for;
Synonyms: authorize / authorise / pass
clear (v.)
clear the leaves from the lawn
clear (v.)
go unchallenged; be approved;
The bill cleared the House
Synonyms: pass
clear (v.)
be debited and credited to the proper bank accounts;
The check will clear within 2 business days
clear (v.)
go away or disappear;
The fog cleared in the afternoon
clear (v.)
pass by, over, or under without making contact;
the balloon cleared the tree tops
Synonyms: top
clear (v.)
make free from confusion or ambiguity; make clear;
Synonyms: clear up / shed light on / crystallize / crystallise / crystalize / crystalise / straighten out / sort out / enlighten / illuminate / elucidate
clear (v.)
free from payment of customs duties, as of a shipment;
clear (v.)
clear from impurities, blemishes, pollution, etc.;
clear the water before it can be drunk
clear (v.)
yield as a net profit;
Synonyms: net
clear (v.)
make as a net profit;
The company cleared $1 million
Synonyms: net / sack / sack up
clear (v.)
earn on some commercial or business transaction; earn as salary or wages;
He clears $5,000 each month
Synonyms: gain / take in / make / earn / realize / realise / pull in / bring in
clear (v.)
We cleared a lot of the old model cars
clear (v.)
pass an inspection or receive authorization;
clear customs
clear (v.)
pronounce not guilty of criminal charges;
The suspect was cleared of the murder charges
Synonyms: acquit / assoil / discharge / exonerate / exculpate
clear (v.)
settle, as of a debt;
clear a debt
Synonyms: solve
clear (v.)
make clear, bright, light, or translucent;
The water had to be cleared through filtering
clear (v.)
rid of instructions or data;
clear a memory buffer
clear (v.)
remove (people) from a building;
clear the patrons from the theater after the bomb threat
clear (v.)
remove the occupants of;
clear (v.)
free (the throat) by making a rasping sound;
Synonyms: clear up
clear (adj.)
free from contact or proximity or connection;
we were clear of the danger
the ship was clear of the reef
clear (adj.)
readily apparent to the mind;
gave us a clear idea of human nature
a clear explanation
a clear indication that she was angry
a clear and present danger
a clear case of murder
clear (adj.)
free from confusion or doubt;
a complex problem requiring a clear head
not clear about what is expected of us
clear (adj.)
affording free passage or view;
a clear view
a clear path to victory
Synonyms: open
clear (adj.)
allowing light to pass through;
the air is clear and clean
clear water
clear glass
clear plastic bags
clear (adj.)
characterized by freedom from troubling thoughts (especially guilt);
a clear conscience
regarded her questioner with clear untroubled eyes
clear (adj.)
(of sound or color) free from anything that dulls or dims;
clear reds and blues
clear laughter like a waterfall
Synonyms: clean / light / unclouded
clear (adj.)
(especially of a title) free from any encumbrance or limitation that presents a question of fact or law;
I have clear title to this property
Synonyms: unmortgaged
clear (adj.)
clear and distinct to the senses; easily perceptible;
the letter brought back a clear image of his grandfather
as clear as a whistle
a clear-cut pattern
clear footprints in the snow
Synonyms: clean-cut / clear-cut
clear (adj.)
free from clouds or mist or haze;
on a clear day
clear (adj.)
free of restrictions or qualifications;
a clear winner
Synonyms: clean
clear (adj.)
free from flaw or blemish or impurity;
a clear perfect diamond
the clear complexion of a healthy young woman
clear (adj.)
clear of charges or deductions;
a clear profit
clear (adj.)
easily deciphered;
Synonyms: decipherable / readable
clear (adj.)
freed from any question of guilt;
was now clear of the charge of cowardice
Synonyms: absolved / cleared / exculpated / exonerated / vindicated
clear (adj.)
characterized by ease and quickness in perceiving;
clear mind
Synonyms: percipient
clear (n.)
the state of being free of suspicion;
investigation showed that he was in the clear
clear (n.)
a clear or unobstructed space or expanse of land or water;
Synonyms: open
clear (adv.)
slept clear through the night
read the book clear to the end
there were open fields clear to the horizon
Synonyms: all the way
clear (adv.)
in an easily perceptible manner;
She cried loud and clear
Synonyms: clearly