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[spring-klee-ning] /ˈsprɪŋˈkli nɪŋ/
a complete cleaning of a place, as a home, done traditionally in the spring of the year.
the activity of giving a place a complete cleaning:
We've been involved in spring-cleaning and are exhausted.
Origin of spring-cleaning


[spring-kleen] /ˈsprɪŋˈklin/
verb (used with object)
to subject (a place) to a spring-cleaning.
1890-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for spring-cleaning
Historical Examples
  • The old nest was theirs, and they were too wise to give it an air of spring-cleaning and housekeeping each year.

    Wild Animals I Have Known Ernest Thompson Seton
  • The woman who lived in the corner house was spring-cleaning.

    Olive in Italy Moray Dalton
  • He added a little sternly, 'Have you forgotten that this is spring-cleaning time?'

    Peter and Wendy James Matthew Barrie
  • spring-cleaning and moving took every ounce of sense out of them.

    The Nest Builder Beatrice Forbes-Robertson Hale
  • In his humble apartment sweeping day came but seldom, and spring-cleaning was unknown.

    The Lamplighter Maria S. Cummins
  • Miss her very much, of course, but thank God there's no spring-cleaning now.

    The Virgin of the Sun H. R. Haggard
  • spring-cleaning is general at this season, for all things must be kosher-al-pesach, or clean and pure.

    Nights in London Thomas Burke
  • She had not been caustic, like his mother, about this male incursion into spring-cleaning.

    The Regent E. Arnold Bennett
  • How can I leave mother in the middle of all this spring-cleaning?

    The Regent E. Arnold Bennett
  • In the first week of April, the badger's spring-cleaning began in downright earnest.

    Creatures of the Night Alfred W. Rees
British Dictionary definitions for spring-cleaning


to clean (a house) thoroughly: traditionally at the end of the winter
an instance of spring-cleaning
Derived Forms
spring-cleaning, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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