\ 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 There is a clause in the union contact which allows teachers to discuss changes in working conditions, like going from a classroom to a remote setting, with the administration. Steve Sadin,, "Labor Day celebrates workers, focuses attention on changing role of unions," 4 Sep. 2020 Intra-Afghan talks were supposed to begin shortly after the February signing, but were delayed by disagreements over another clause in the accord—a swap of 5,000 Taliban prisoners for 1,000 security forces held by the insurgents. Ehsanullah Amiri And Stephen Kalin, WSJ, "Afghan Government, Taliban to Begin First-Ever Direct Talks Next Week," 4 Sep. 2020 Messi’s contract, which ends in June 2021, has a buyout clause of 700 million euros ($831 million)., "Barcelona Unwilling to Negotiate Messi Departure," 29 Aug. 2020 At the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Lord Castlereagh, the British foreign secretary, insisted on a clause in its treaty committing all the signatory powers to end slavery. John O'sullivan, National Review, "On Musical Jingoism," 29 Aug. 2020 Now Hawley is urging Congress to finally reform what is known as the founding clause of the internet: Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. Star Tribune, "Momentum is building on reforming the internet," 26 Aug. 2020 The dispute centers around dueling interpretations of a clause in Messi’s contract. oregonlive, "Soccer superstar Lionel Messi wants to leave Barcelona: Report," 26 Aug. 2020 State suffragists weren’t expecting to join the national movement because of a clause in the state constitution that restricted the legislature from voting on federal amendments. USA Today, "View more than 100 photos of Tennessee’s role in the women’s suffrage movement," 19 Aug. 2020 One of his most cherished goals is to revise the clause in the constitution, enacted by American occupiers, that requires Japan to renounce war, and to build a more powerful country with more normalized military capabilities. Motoko Rich,, "Japanese politicians mark war anniversary at contentious shrine," 15 Aug. 2020

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 entry 1

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Time Traveler for clause

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

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Last Updated

15 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Clause.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for clause


How to pronounce clause (audio)

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


\ 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.”


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on clause

Nglish: Translation of clause for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clause for Arabic Speakers

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