noun \ˈklü\

: something that helps a person find something, understand something, or solve a mystery or puzzle

: an understanding of something : knowledge about something

Full Definition of CLUE

:  something that guides through an intricate procedure or maze of difficulties; specifically :  a piece of evidence that leads one toward the solution of a problem
:  idea, notion <had no clue what he meant>

Origin of CLUE

alteration of clew
First Known Use: 1596


cluedclue·ing or clu·ing

Definition of CLUE

transitive verb
:  to provide with a clue
:  to give reliable information to <he clued me in on how it happened>

First Known Use of CLUE

CLUE Defined for Kids


noun \ˈklü\

Definition of CLUE for Kids

:  something that helps a person to find something or to solve a mystery

Word History of CLUE

The word clue was originally an alternate spelling of clew, meaning a ball of thread or yarn. Our usual modern sense of clue, something that helps solve a mystery, grows out of the image of a ball of thread that helps a person to find a way out of a maze. Of stories containing this image, the best known is the Greek myth of Theseus and Ariadne. Ariadne gave the hero Theseus a ball of thread that he unraveled as he searched the labyrinth, or huge maze, of her father, King Minos. After killing the monster in the labyrinth, Theseus retraced his steps by rewinding the thread.


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