Phrase: Clear the air

Posted by ESC on July 16, 2003

In Reply to: Phrase: Clear the air posted by Henry on July 16, 2003

: : I'm trying to find out if the phrase "clear the air" exists and if it does in what context do you use it?

: Brewer simply gives a literal meaning;
: To clear the air. To remove the clouds, mists, and impurities.
: Figuratively, it means to remove suspicion and tension. If there are bad relations between you and another person, you could have a meeting to clear the air.

We were having problems but the argument helped clear the air.

CLEAR THE AIR - "Remove obstructions or obscurities that have complicated an issue. The literal origin is in what the sun and the wind do to remove or dissipate clouds after a storm. The figurative meaning was in use by 1380, when John Wyclif wrote that 'winds of truth should blow away heresies, and clear the airs of holy church, which is now full troubled." From The Dictionary of Cliches by James Rogers (Wings Books, Originally New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985).