clear away



clear away (third-person singular simple present clears away, present participle clearing away, simple past and past participle cleared away)

  1. (transitive) To tidy up, to remove mess or obstacles from a place to make it neat.
    • 1895, H. G. Wells, chapter X, in The Time Machine:
      Further along the gallery was the huge skeleton barrel of a brontosaurus. My museum hypothesis was confirmed. Going toward the side of the gallery I found what appeared to be sloping shelves, and clearing away the thick dust, I found the old familiar glass cases of our own time. But these must have been air-tight to judge from the fair preservation of some of their contents.
  2. (intransitive) To leave, disappear
    The showers should clear away tomorrow.
  3. (transitive, figurative) To dispose of, to get rid of, to remove.
    • 2011 December 19, Kerry Brown, “Kim Jong-il obituary”, in The Guardian[1]:
      A state ideology, mixing nationalism, and basic Marxist economics, going under the name "Juche", was constructed, and Kim Il-sung effectively silenced, disposed of and cleared away any opposition, isolating the country and exercising an iron grip on the military, the state media and the government and party organs.
  4. (nautical, transitive) To prepare some object for use by removing obstacles, untying or unfastening it.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, chapter 13
      The schooner was run into the wind, and while the hands were clearing away the stern boat, Queequeg, stripped to the waist, darted from the side with a long living arc of a leap.
    • 1893, Conan Doyle, The Refugees, chapter 26
      "Hiram Jefferson and John Moreton to the pumps!" cried the captain. "Mr. Tomlinson, clear away the long-boat and let us see if we may set her right, though I fear that she is past mending."
    • 1897, Conan Doyle, The Dealings of Captain Sharkey with Stephen Craddock:
      Keep the ports closed, but clear away the port guns, and stand by for a broadside. Another two cable lengths and we have them.