Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

clean up

 - definitions and thesaurus

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theyclean up
he/she/itcleans up
present participlecleaning up
past tensecleaned up
past participlecleaned up

Related meanings

  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to make a place completely clean and neat

    We really ought to make a start on getting this place cleaned up.

    I'm going to clean up in here this afternoon.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to remove objects from a place in order to make it completely clean and neat

      Joe can clean up the mess.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to wash someone who is dirty

    Come into the bathroom and I'll get you cleaned up.

    I cleaned myself up and got ready for dinner.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] informal to make a lot of money

    He really cleaned up on the stock market.

  4. 4
    [transitive] to stop bad, unfair, or criminal behavior in a place or activity

    Is there the political will to clean up the banking system?

    a campaign to clean up the city's streets

  5. 5
    [transitive] to remove pollution from a place or an industrial process

    We need a systematic plan for identifying and cleaning up waste sites.

See also main entry: clean


web content which is specifically intended to make Facebook users click the 'Like' button associated with it

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


the possibility of Greece leaving the Eurozone …

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog