From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishclean up phrasal verb1 CLEANto make a place completely clean and tidy We spent all Saturday morning cleaning up.clean something ↔ up plans to clean up the beaches after John always expects other people to clean up after him (=to make a place clean after he has used it).2 WASHto wash yourself after you have got very dirtyclean yourself up Let me just go clean myself up. Dad’s upstairs getting cleaned up.3 clean up your act informalBEHAVE to start behaving sensibly and responsibly Some companies could face heavy fines if they fail to clean up their act.4 informalPROFIT to win a lot of money or make a lot of money in a business deal He cleaned up at the races yesterday.5 GOOD/MORAL clean something ↔ up to improve moral standards in a place or organization It’s high time British soccer cleaned up its image. → clean-up → clean→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusclean up• Do you want me to help clean up?• It took us two or three days to clean it all up.• The management of some our prisons has sometimes been corrupt, and it is our job to clean it up.• Every time Jasper cooked for me, he would carefully clean up all the pans and plates he'd used.• Most clubs have made a big effort to clean up football's image.• Thanks for cleaning the place up -- I really appreciate it.• It's time someone cleaned up this city; we have one of the highest crime rates in the country.clean after• Undertakers take up the pastime in middle age, but their juniors will join in to help clean up after a disaster.• It was like cleaning up after an oil spill.• The owner then uses three tiny buttons to feed, play with, clean up after and discipline it.• He always expected other people to clean up after him.• He is cleaning up after me.• She was cleaning up after white folk as she had done in Texas, but it was a job.clean yourself up• I gave him to Nonni who was clucking round the kitchen and said I must go and clean myself up.• I went to the Betty Ford Centre and cleaned myself up.• So a part of the argument switches to the kind of incinerators you allow while industry is forced to clean itself up.• I cleaned myself up and checked out my patch, hoping I'd find that tabby trespassing.• And that annoyed me enough to drive me to my cabin, to clean myself up and choose fresh clothing.• He would have to work hard, clean himself up; change his whole image. clean up your act• Naming and shaming remains an option should the company not clean up its act.• Citibank insists it has cleaned up its act.• Drivers whose vehicles give off more poisonous chemicals than are allowed have ten days to clean up their act.• More recently Lou has cleaned up his act and started setting the world to rights.• Legislation aimed at forcing the power firms to clean up their act is being fought tooth and nail by the polluters.• But he eventually sees their potential and cleans up his act just in time.• The industry was effectively warned to clean up its act or face legislation.• Gwen finally told her troubled son to clean up his act or get out of her house.• She told her son to clean up his act or move out.• Tish has really cleaned up her act - she doesn't drink or smoke pot any more.• Despite Mr Haider's grandiose, unbelievable last-minute pledges to clean up his act, there should be no wavering.cleaned up ... image• About two years ago Autobacs cleaned up its oily-rag image.clean-upˈclean-up, cleanup /ˈkliːnʌp/ noun [countable usually singular] SGPCLEANa process by which you get rid of dirt or waste from a place The cleanup of the oil spill took months. millions of dollars in clean-up costs
Examples from the Corpusclean-up• If Daddy was home, she'd invite him in for a coffee and a clean-up.• Only a week after the strike, a clean-up of the more open violence had begun in the worst harassed loyalist districts.• South West also faces a beach clean-up programme, which worries some analysts.• After the collective clean-up, Rainbow goes home brooding.• The department is reported to be formulating ideas for new mechanisms to raise money from the private sector to pay for clean-up.• A booklet is being distributed to advise city authorities on how to organise a mass clean-up.• That way, he could begin the practice of bathing him in the garden and avoid the clean-up in the bathroom.• It culminated in the clean-up of the industry inaugurated by nationalisation after the Second World War.From Longman Business Dictionaryclean up phrasal verb1[transitive] clean something → up to improve an organization by removing parts or people that are not making money or are not effective or honestThe company is cleaning up its income statement and developing a more profitable business. → see also clean-up2[intransitive] to make a lot of money in a dealThe traders buying the bonds cleaned up, because they carried high fixed interest rates when inflation was falling quickly. → clean→ See Verb tableclean-upˈclean-up noun [countable] when an organization is improved by removing parts or people that are not making money or are not effective or honestA clean-up may require financial help from the World Bank.