oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com (item #1 → extra examples):
(1) She leaped clear of the water.

Could you tell me please what (1) can mean?

Does it mean:
(2) She leaped out of the water.
(3) She leaped far from the water.
(4) She leaped further from the water.

or maybe something else?

update #1:
The aim of my question is to understand what meanings the phrase "clear of" in (1) can have.

update #2 (what led me to the question):
I saw (1).
I didn't understand what "clear of" meant.
I looked up "clear of" in
From the dictionaries, I inferred that (1) meant (3) or (4).
But the meanings of (3) and (4) seemed strange to me.
I thought maybe (1) meant (2) but I couldn't find any confirmation of this in the dictionaries above.
So I decided to ask what (1) can mean.
Does (1) really mean (3) or (4)?
Or maybe (1) means (2) (in spite of the fact that I couldn't find in the dictionaries that "clear of" can mean "out of")?
Or maybe something else?

  • Compare the use of the related verb clear in The sprinter cleared the last hurdle in record time. Oct 12, 2023 at 11:00
  • Single preposition of (as opposed to out of) is slightly unusual for the context IF she was actually in the water before leaping clear. But if she was actually just very close to the water (walking along a riverbank or beach shoreline, for example), plain of would be the natural choice for OP's sense 2 / 3 (those two are essentially the same sense, so far as I'm concerned). Oct 12, 2023 at 14:36
  • We need more context. can you give us the surrounding context?
    – gotube
    Oct 12, 2023 at 18:36
  • @gotube My question was edited by another user. In my original post the question was "what can the discussed sentence mean?" implying all meanings corresponding to all contexts which the discussed sentence can have. If you consider the current edited post adds some confusion which my original post didn't have, then ask please about it the user who edited my post.
    – Loviii
    Oct 13, 2023 at 1:28
  • @Loviii I've restored your version of the question. Thanks for clearing that up. I'm inferring that the goal of your question is to learn the meaning of "leap clear", or maybe [ verb of movement + "clear" ]. Am I close? Please make that clear in your question because giving all the possible meanings of something without any context isn't the kind of question we handle.
    – gotube
    Oct 13, 2023 at 2:59

1 Answer 1


It does mean that she was out of the water (they cleared the water, they were clear of the water), beyond that you'd need to know some context.

For example it might describe a person jumping over a stream. They jumped right across and didn't go in the water at all.

It might describe a person who has been standing in a pool, but jumps up and completely out of the water.

It might describe a fish that swims up and completely out of the water, but then falls back in again.

It would generally be used when "clear" adds some useful meaning, if three people were all trying to jump over a stream, the first failed and landed in the water, the second landed on the bank, but slipped back into the stream, but the third leapt clear of the water and didn't get her feet wet; for example.

  • The similar expression to jump clear out of the water would mean exiting entirely out of, emphasizing the result of no longer being even a tiny bit within the water. And We drove clear through the city without exchanging a word emphasizes how long they refrained from speaking. Oct 12, 2023 at 10:41
  • Is "clear" in "She leaped clear of the water" an adjective or an adverb? Thanks.
    – Loviii
    Oct 14, 2023 at 5:19

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