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


Kitty, what fit came over you, to go to work and clear up at such rate?

Some day, perhaps, it will all clear up,—this trouble of yours.

It needs acquaintance with society and social ways to clear up the latter.

I may be able to very soon, and clear up all this mysteriousness, that is worrying me so.

We'll clear up the whole of this ghost business, now we've got started.

I will adduce an example which will clear up my meaning, and will be a sort of witness to my words.

The business of the legislator is to clear up this confusion.

He would have given anything to know, but he dared not clear up the point.

But you can aid me to clear up several points that trouble me.

They are trying to clear up their ideas of themselves, and of the world.


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.