Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


And, in the first place, let us have a clear conception of the end in view.

That's all we want the new marsh for--just to clear off the mortgage.

He had acted "in obedience to the clear and imperious call of public obligation."

There were attendants, running Turks, and guards before to clear the way.

There is no longer a clear division between what is foreign and what is domestic.

He clasped his head in his hands and strove to clear his mind for a moment from obsession.

The designs of that power, dark in purpose, are clear in practice.

He sat down and picked up the newspaper, and the print was clear.

Then a clear thought: "He's angry with me because he can't be angry with Priscilla."

I answer, Because she must have no man, but one who has a great and clear estate; that's one thing.


late 13c., "bright," 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" (see claim (v.)).

The sense evolution involves an identification of the spreading of sound and the spreading of light (cf. English loud, used of colors; German hell "clear, bright, shining," of pitch, "distinct, ringing, high"). Of complexion, from c.1300; of the weather, from late 14c.; of meanings or explanations, "manifest to the mind, comprehensible," c.1300. (An Old English word for this was sweotol "distinct, clear, evident.") Sense of "free from encumbrance," apparently nautical, developed c.1500. Phrase in the clear attested from 1715. Clear-sighted is from 1580s (clear-eyed is from 1529s); clear-headed is from 1709.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.