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


A light not of this world is gleaming there; and it has grown brighter and clearer since we parted.

Having fewer things to be afraid of my mind was clearer for work.

It helped him to a clearer and keener perception of the place assigned him by the family.

And who shall blame her, remembering that older heads than hers are no clearer on that point?

It did not: on the contrary, it became, if anything, clearer.

The lighter grey of the horizon is mirrored in the clearer blue of the sea.

The better we know the Bible and the better we know nature the clearer this will be to us.

But now he has attained to a clearer point of view: he has discarded these fancies.

The sound was repeated, but louder, clearer, shriller than before.

But this morning, by the light of Mercy's letter, his view was clearer.


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.