clear·ance | \ˈklir-ən(t)s \

Definition of clearance 

1 : an act or process of clearing: such as

a : the removal of buildings from an area (such as a city slum)

b : the act of clearing a ship at the customhouse also : the papers showing that a ship has cleared

c : the offsetting of checks and other claims among banks through a clearinghouse

d : certification as clear of objection : authorization security clearance

e : a sale to clear out stock

f : authorization for an aircraft to proceed especially with a specified action clearance to land

2 : the distance by which one object clears another or the clear space between them

3 : the volume of blood or plasma that can be freed of a specified constituent in a specified time by its excretion into the urine through the kidneys a creatine clearance of 25 milliliters per minute

called also renal clearance

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Examples of clearance in a Sentence

She has a security clearance that allows her to see the classified information. The pilot got clearance to land. That flight has not received clearance for landing. There was only 10 inches of clearance between the car and the side of the tunnel. a bridge with a 100-foot clearance above the water the clearance of forests for farming slum clearance to make room for new housing
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Recent Examples on the Web

However, another mistake by Sanchez on a cross allowed the Union to take a 3-2 lead in the 73rd minute courtesy of Burke, who put in a rebound left by an errant Sanchez clearance. Juan Pimiento,, "Accam's late goal earns Philadelphia a win over the Chicago Fire," 11 July 2018 Throughout that time, Williams had worked low-paying jobs at places from McDonald’s to Macy’s, where she had been paid $8 an hour to move items into clearance. Terrence Mccoy, Washington Post, "The future of suburban homelessness? As malls empty, an old Macy’s becomes a homeless shelter.," 6 July 2018 Then, clearance items will be an additional 40 percent off. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "All the 4th of July Sales Worth Shopping This Year," 3 July 2018 Though the sultry sophomore album was lauded by fans, Taylor voiced her disappointment in the project after experiencing several sample-clearance issues. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "Teyana Taylor Says There Will Not Be a New Version of Her Album 'K.T.S.E.'," 2 July 2018 Two years later during Euro 2012, England’s fortunes turned as John Terry’s hooked clearance against Ukraine protected a 1-0 lead, setting up a quarter-final tie with Italy, despite the ball clearly crossing the line., "Why VAR is a Step in the Right Direction for Football Despite the Continued Scrutiny," 12 July 2018 Court documents show Ramos was hired as recently as 2013 to a government contracting job that required a clearance. Ian Duncan,, "Capital Gazette shooting suspect's anger flared, and fell silent. Then, police say, it exploded," 8 July 2018 Additional security clearances were added before recruits could go to boot camp. Renae Reints, Fortune, "The U.S. Army Is Abruptly Discharging Immigrant Enlistees Previously Headed Toward Citizenship, Lawyers Say," 6 July 2018 Following that period, the U.K. government had to make a final decision on whether to give Fox its final clearance for a potential deal to buy the remaining stake in Sky. Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter, "U.K. Clears Fox's Sky Bid," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clearance.' 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 clearance

1540, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for clearance

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for clearance

The first known use of clearance was in 1540

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More Definitions for clearance



English Language Learners Definition of clearance

: an official decision saying that someone has permission to do something

: official permission for an aircraft, pilot, etc., to do something

: the amount of space between two things


clear·ance | \ˈklir-əns \

Kids Definition of clearance

1 : the act or process of removing something

2 : the distance by which one object avoids hitting or touching another

3 : official permission The plane has clearance to land.


clear·ance | \ˈklir-ən(t)s \

Medical Definition of clearance 

: the volume of blood or plasma that could be freed of a specified constituent in a specified time (usually one minute) by excretion of the constituent into the urine through the kidneys

called also renal clearance

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Comments on clearance

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one that holds something together

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