Come clean


      • confess or reveal the truth
        To admit to something that was previously hidden, typically a wrongdoing or mistake.

      • be honest and transparent
        To be open and upfront about something, often in a situation where there is doubt or suspicion.

    Examples of Come clean

    • "John, I know you've been hiding something from us. It's time to come clean and tell us the truth."

      The idiom "come clean" means to admit the truth, especially after keeping it hidden. In this example, the speaker is urging John to confess whatever he has been concealing.

    • "After the police found the stolen money in my car, I knew I had to come clean and take responsibility for my actions."

      In this example, the speaker is admitting guilt and taking ownership of their wrongdoing.

    • "The athlete tested positive for steroids, and now he has to come clean and face the consequences of his actions."

      In this example, the athlete is being pressured to admit using performance-enhancing drugs and face the consequences of cheating.

    • "The company's CEO finally came clean about the financial scandal, which had been rumored for months."

      In this example, the CEO is admitting to a financial scandal that had been speculated about for some time.

    • "The detective pressed the suspect to come clean and reveal the location of the missing evidence."

      In this example, the detective is urging the suspect to confess and reveal the whereabouts of the evidence that has gone missing.Overall, the idiom "come clean" is used to encourage someone to admit the truth, whether it's about a mistake, a wrongdoing, or a secret that has been kept hidden.


    The idiom "come clean" is commonly used to refer to admitting to a wrongdoing or mistake, or being honest and transparent about something. It is often used in situations where there is doubt or suspicion, and the person is encouraged to reveal the truth.

    This phrase can also be used in a more literal sense, such as when someone cleans up a mess or confesses to a past mistake. In these cases, it is still suggesting honesty and transparency.

    Origin of "Come clean"

    The origin of the idiom "come clean" is believed to come from the idea of cleaning oneself of guilt or wrongdoing. This phrase has been used in English since at least the early 20th century and is commonly associated with confession or revealing the truth.

    Some sources suggest that the phrase may have originated from the idea of washing away dirt or impurities, similar to the act of confessing and being cleansed of guilt. Others believe it may have derived from the concept of coming clean from a gambling debt, where a person would reveal the truth and pay off their debt.

    Regardless of its exact origin, the idiom "come clean" has become a common and widely understood phrase in English, used to encourage honesty and transparency. It is often used in both formal and informal situations and has become a part of everyday language.