clause

noun
\ ˈklȯz How to pronounce clause (audio) \

Definition of clause

1 : a group of words containing a subject and predicate and functioning as a member of a complex (see complex entry 2 sense 1b(2)) or compound (see compound entry 2 sense 3b) sentence The sentence "When it rained they went inside" consists of two clauses: "when it rained" and "they went inside."
2 : a separate section of a discourse (see discourse entry 1 sense 2) or writing specifically : a distinct article in a formal document a clause in a contract

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Examples of clause in a Sentence

The sentence “When it rained they went inside” consists of two clauses: “when it rained” and “they went inside.” a clause in a will

Recent Examples on the Web

May and other Cabinet ministers are holding talks with senior EU officials in an attempt to add a time limit or an exit clause to the backstop. Jill Lawless, The Seattle Times, "May delay: UK PM asks lawmakers for more time on Brexit," 12 Feb. 2019 Based on past award winners, the indecency clause seems like a stretch. Lisa Liebman, Glamour, "CES Just Doesn’t Know What to Do With a Sex Toy for Women," 18 Jan. 2019 What's missing between these two clauses is a clear delineation of what, if anything, Niantic will be owed by an outside publisher (or even an indie team publishing its game by itself) for use of Niantic's tools and platform. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Pokémon Go creators launch AR-game contest that (nearly) resembles American Idol," 21 Dec. 2018 The $16-per hour clause is widely seen as just a stand-in for Trump's original demand, since dropped, that the North American Free Trade Agreement require at least 50 percent U.S. content in autos. Mark Stevenson, Fox News, "Mexico-US trade deal unlikely to boost low Mexican wages," 30 Aug. 2018 In their letter, employees demanded Google remove its mandatory-arbitration clauses from employee contracts, a widespread but controversial practice that prevents U.S. workers from suing their employer in open court. Ezequiel Minaya, WSJ, "Google Employees Stage Global Walkout Over Treatment of Sexual Harassment," 1 Nov. 2018 While Finland expressed interest in joining Macron's plan for tighter European defense cooperation, Denmark is limited by its defense opt-out clause in its EU ties, which keeps its out of military matters. Dorothee Thiesing, Fox News, "Macron says Europe's security architecture must be rethought," 30 Aug. 2018 Challengers rely on both the First Amendment charge and say the maps violated the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment. CNN, "Supreme Court not finding consensus on gerrymandering," 28 Mar. 2018 Another change is a sunset clause, where the agreement would lapse after 16 years if it isn’t actively negotiated. Jon Talton, The Seattle Times, "Learning the wrong lessons from Trump’s rebranded NAFTA," 2 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clause.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of clause

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for clause

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin clausa close of a rhetorical period, from Latin, feminine of clausus, past participle of claudere to close — more at close

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Statistics for clause

Last Updated

28 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for clause

The first known use of clause was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for clause

clause

noun

English Language Learners Definition of clause

grammar : a part of a sentence that has its own subject and verb
: a separate part of a legal document

clause

noun
\ ˈklȯz How to pronounce clause (audio) \

Kids Definition of clause

1 : a separate part of a document (as a will)
2 : a group of words having its own subject and predicate The sentence “When it rained they went inside” is made up of two clauses: “when it rained” and “they went inside.”

clause

noun
\ ˈklȯz How to pronounce clause (audio) \

Legal Definition of clause

: a distinct section of a writing specifically : a distinct article, stipulation, or proviso in a formal document a no-strike clause in the collective bargaining agreement

Other Words from clause

clausal \ ˈklȯ-​zəl How to pronounce clausal (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on clause

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with clause

Spanish Central: Translation of clause

Nglish: Translation of clause for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clause for Arabic Speakers

Comments on clause

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