clean up - definition and synonyms

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

  5. 6
    clean up your act informal to start behaving in a more suitable and sensible way
See also main entry: clean