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


But the clearest trace I have of him is from the shipping agents.

But Miss Amabel was approaching him with the clearest simplicity.

The fact is, gentlemen, my head is none of the clearest to-day.

In the next place, the fact was to be proved in the clearest manner.

The clearest minds accepted the chimeras of astrology and magic.

The clearest listener he could find, and the least commiserative, happily.

"I think I shall like you," she said composedly and with the clearest English accent.

He said, again, that the intelligence is clearest at the dawn of day.

The evidence of the identity of the grandfather was full, and of the clearest nature.

For was it not all here, written in clearest characters, in the life of the Ideal Man?


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.