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clean up - definition and synonyms


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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.



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phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theyclean up
he/she/itcleans up
present participlecleaning up
past tensecleaned up
past participlecleaned up
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  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to make a place completely clean and tidy

    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 tidy

      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. 4
    [transitive] to stop bad, unfair, or criminal behaviour 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

  4. 5
    [intransitive] informal to make a lot of money

    He really cleaned up on the stock market.

See also main entry: clean

sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

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an electric skateboard

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