to come clean

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - come clean

"to come clean"

to tell the truth about something that you have been keeping secret;

to confess


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - come clean

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  Has the boss ever discovered who tampered with the computer security system?

Colleague 2:  Not that I know of.

Colleague 1:  Most of the office staff know it was you. If the boss finds out before you tell him, you will probably get fired. If you confess and mitigate the circumstances, you have a chance to keep your job.

Colleague 2:  OK. You're right. I'll come clean with the boss as soon as he gets to the office. I'll explain everything I did and why.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - come clean

A father and son are talking ...

Father:  You sure got home late last night. How was the party?

Son:  It was lots of fun.

Father:  Is there anything you want to tell me?

Son:  No. Why?

Father:  You should know that I talked to some of the other parents of the kids that were at the party. I'll give you a chance to come clean.

Son:  OK. I'll confess. There was some drinking at the party.

to come clean - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   1,940   click for frequency by country

to come clean - Gerund Form:

Coming clean about your wrongdoings can provide a great relief to your conscience.

to come clean - Examples:

1)  ... then I'd like to go ahead and come clean with it instead of them having to find out.

2)  ... and will he have to come clean? He definitely lied, but I don't think he needs to come clean.

3)  ... now has a chance to do the right thing and come clean.

4)  Perhaps, once he knows he's looking at jail time, he'll come clean.

5)  ... back the $2 million, but it's still embezzlement. Peggy wants to come clean, but Daddy Lamar steps in and tells her to be quiet.

6)  Had he just come clean, admitted his wrongdoing, and apologized to his fans and the companies who ...

7)  Come clean with them, the longer you leave it the worse their reaction will be.

8)  It boils down to this -- nobody wants to come clean and admit the terrible flaws in human awareness.

9)  They both share a secret. She thinks he should come clean

10)  ... but if the cheating is not a pattern, and the cheater has come clean, is sincerely regretful, and wants to recommit to the marriage, ...

11)  The other boys wouldn't come clean and John Michael would not give up the names of his friends.

12)  Fix the frigging problem and come clean with the fact that you messed up. That's all we ask.

13)  She never gets the courage to come clean to her mother that she wants to be a rock and roll chic.

14)  ... waiting for an opportunity to come clean with several others so it would be difficult for Armstrong to dismiss their accusations.

15)  Most will not believe he has come clean until he does the full release.

16)  Second, he needs to come clean with the community about what information dKos is collecting and what uses it's making ...

17)  ... this is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. To come clean, I've lied for a long long time.

18)  But the day is going to dawn when the leaders must come clean and tell their populations what they are planning.

19)  Just as important, it's time for financial leaders to come clean about the mess, do some soul-searching, and act aggressively to restore public confidence.

20)  Did you find it liberating to 'come clean' about some things that you were holding inside?