Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Grammar A group of words containing a subject and a predicate and forming part of a compound or complex sentence.
  • noun A distinct article, stipulation, or provision in a document.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun That part of a bond which defines the amount of the penalty.
  • noun Any part of a written composition, especially one containing complete sense in itself, as a sentence or paragraph: in modern use commonly limited to such parts of legal documents, as of statutes, contracts, wills, etc.
  • noun A distinct stipulation, condition, proviso, etc.: as, a special clause in a contract.
  • noun In grammar, one of the lesser sentences which united and modified form a compound or complex sentence.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A separate portion of a written paper, paragraph, or sentence; an article, stipulation, or proviso, in a legal document.
  • noun (Gram.) A subordinate portion or a subdivision of a sentence containing a subject and its predicate.
  • noun See Letters clause or Letters close, under letter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun this sense?) (grammar, informal) A group of two or more words which include a subject and any necessary predicate (the predicate also includes a verb, conjunction, or a preposition) to begin the clause; however, this clause is not considered a sentence for colloquial purposes.
  • noun grammar A verb along with its subject and their modifiers. If a clause provides a complete thought on its own, then it is an independent (superordinate) clause; otherwise, it is (subordinate) dependent.
  • noun law A separate part of a contract, a will or another legal document.
  • verb transitive, shipping To amend (a bill of lading or similar document).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun (grammar) an expression including a subject and predicate but not constituting a complete sentence
  • noun a separate section of a legal document (as a statute or contract or will)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin clausa, close of a rhetorical period, from feminine of Latin clausus, past participle of claudere, to close.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Medieval Latin clausa ("a clause") (Latin diminutive clausula ("a clause, close of a period")), from Latin clausus, past participle of claudere ("to shut, close"); see close.

Examples

  • By claiming power under the coinage clause, Mr. Bernanke was behaving a bit like Secretary of State Alexander Haig when, after President Ronald Reagan was shot, he suggested, albeit fleetingly, that he had the constitutional authority of the president.

    A Constitution Scholar for the Fed

  • By claiming power under the coinage clause, Mr. Bernanke was behaving a bit like Secretary of State Alexander Haig when, after President Ronald Reagan was shot, he suggested, albeit fleetingly, that he had the constitutional authority of the president.

    A Constitution Scholar for the Fed

  • This clause is the PJ's protection against being involved in a libel suit because someone on the copy desk decided to be "cute" with the caption.

    Use Assignment Confirmations

  • This clause is the only mention the Constitution makes of Presidential war powers.

    Matthew Yglesias » Democrats Should Move to the Center

  • Some people in the Debian community think that this clause is at odds with the Debian Free Software Guidelines.

    v3.0 talking point: parallel distribution

  • Some people in the Debian community think that this clause is at odds with the Debian Free Software Guidelines.

    Archive 2006-08-01

  • The prophets could but proclaim liberty, but Christ, as one having authority, as one that had power on earth to forgive sins, came to set at liberty; and therefore this clause is added here.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume V (Matthew to John)

  • The MAC clause was nothing to trifle with; a slew of lawsuits by Merrill Lynch and its shareholders would almost certainly follow, and prevailing in court after invoking a MAC clause is exceedingly difficult.

    The Final Days of Merrill Lynch

  • A world in which every law can be neatly and concisely written, and its legal basis cited in the Constitution (provided you ignore Article I, Section 8, because the elastic clause is clearly for losers and the framers didn't intend for it to mean what it says, even though they wrote it that way).

    Elizabeth Bisbee Silber: Fantasies, Conspiracy Theories and Tax Cuts for the Rich

  • A world in which every law can be neatly and concisely written, and its legal basis cited in the Constitution (provided you ignore Article I, Section 8, because the elastic clause is clearly for losers and the framers didn't intend for it to mean what it says, even though they wrote it that way).

    Elizabeth Bisbee Silber: Fantasies, Conspiracy Theories and Tax Cuts for the Rich

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