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[kloo] /klu/

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.
(def 7).
Verb phrases
clue in,

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
noun, verb
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.

v,v phr

(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+)

Related Terms

get a clue, have a clue, not have a clue


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