clean, cleanly
Clean has been an adverb meaning ‘completely, outright’ since Old English and is still used as one, as in The bullet went clean through his shoulder-blade. Cleanly is an adverb of manner, and is often used figuratively:

• Cut branches off cleanly, nearly flush with the trunk, without leaving a stump to die back and become diseased —Express, 2006.

Note also the adjective cleanly (pronounced klen-li), which means ‘habitually clean’:

• persons of refined and cleanly habits and decent language —Spartacus International, 2003.

This meaning will probably be more familiar in its derivative noun form cleanliness, which is proverbially next to godliness.

Modern English usage. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cleanly — Clean ly, a. [Compar. {Cleanlier}; superl. {Cleanliest}.] [From {Clean}.] 1. Habitually clean; pure; innocent. Cleanly joys. Glanvill. [1913 Webster] Some plain but cleanly country maid. Dryden. [1913 Webster] Displays her cleanly platter on the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cleanly — Clean ly, adv. 1. In a clean manner; neatly. [1913 Webster] He was very cleanly dressed. Dickens. [1913 Webster] 2. Innocently; without stain. Shak. [1913 Webster] 3. Adroitly; dexterously. Middleton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cleanly — O.E. clænlic pure, excellent, from clæne (see CLEAN (Cf. clean)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • cleanly — adj *clean Analogous words: spick and span, *neat, tidy, trim, snug: *orderly: dainty, fastidious, fussy, *nice Antonyms: uncleanly Contrasted words: slovenly, unkempt, disheveled, sloppy, *slipshod …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • cleanly — ► ADVERB ▪ in a clean manner. ► ADJECTIVE (cleanlier, cleanliest) archaic ▪ habitually clean. DERIVATIVES cleanliness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • cleanly — cleanly1 [klen′lē] adj. cleanlier, cleanliest [ME clenli < OE clænlice < clæne,CLEAN] 1. keeping oneself or one s surroundings clean 2. always kept clean cleanliness n. cleanly2 [klēn′lē] adv …   English World dictionary

  • cleanly — 1. adjective /ˈklɛnli,ˈkliːnli/ being habitually clean, practising good hygiene Ant: uncleanly, dirty 2. adverb /ˈklɛnli,ˈkliːnli/ a) in a …   Wiktionary

  • cleanly — clean|ly [ˈkli:nli] adv 1.) quickly and smoothly with a single movement ▪ The branch snapped cleanly in two. 2.) without producing dirt, pollution etc ▪ a fuel that burns cleanly without loss of power …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • cleanly — clean|ly [ klinli ] adverb 1. ) with one smooth movement: She s a strong player who hits the ball cleanly. 2. ) without creating a lot of mess or pollution: The good thing about it is that it burns cleanly …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • cleanly — UK [ˈkliːnlɪ] / US [ˈklɪnlɪ] adverb 1) with one smooth movement She s a strong player who hits the ball cleanly. 2) without creating a lot of mess or pollution The good thing about it is that it burns cleanly …   English dictionary