clean house

Idioms & Phrases

clean house

  1. Wipe out corruption or inefficiency, as in It's time the Republican Party cleaned house. This usage is most often applied to an organization. [Slang; c. 1900]

  2. Punish, give a beating, as in Whenever he was drunk he threatened to clean house on one and all. [Slang; c. 1900]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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