anything that serves to guide or direct in the solution of a problem, mystery, etc.
(defs 1–4, 6, 12).
verb (used with object), clued, cluing.
to direct or point out by a clue.
something that helps to solve a problem or unravel a mystery
not to have a clue
verb clues, cluing, clued
(transitive; usually foll by in or up) to provide with helpful information
a variant spelling of clew
1590s, spelling variant of clew “a ball of thread or yarn,” in this sense with reference to the one Theseus used as a guide out of the Labyrinth. The purely figurative sense of “that which points the way” is from 1620s. As something which a bewildered person does not have, by 1948.
“to inform someone of the important facts,” usually with in, 1934, from clue (n.). Related: Clued; cluing. Earlier in now-obsolete sense of “follow or track by clues” (1660s). In nautical use, “to haul up (a sail) by means of the clue-lines,” from clue (n.) in the “wound ball of yarn” sense.
(also clue in) To inform someone of pertinent facts; PUT someone IN THE PICTURE: I’ll clue ya/ Neil Sheehan and I were terribly clued-in. We had a lock on that story (1940s+)
get a clue, have a clue, not have a clue
- Clued out
adjective phrase Unaware; ignorant: I like Elvissa, but she can be so clued out (1990s+)
adjective 1. (informal) shrewd; well-informed
adjective knowledgeable, well-informed Examples clueful tech support Word Origin opposite of clueless
[kloo-lis] /ˈklu lɪs/ adjective, Informal. 1. ignorant, unaware, or uninformed: I remember thinking my mom was clueless when I was a teenager. /ˈkluːlɪs/ adjective 1. (slang) helpless; stupid adj. 1862, “trackless,” from clue (n.) + -less. Meaning “ignorant, uninformed” is from 1943, said to be RAF slang from 1930s. Student slang use by 1985 is […]