clear·​ance | \ ˈklir-ən(t)s How to pronounce clearance (audio) \

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 That team member, who lives in Michigan and is not part of the Indianapolis-area crew that regularly works in the team's shop, received the results with enough time to quarantine and get clearance to travel to St. Pete. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar announces zero positive tests for COVID-19 since series restart June 6 at Texas," 30 July 2020 MobiHealthNews reports that Abbott Laboratories has gained FDA clearance for MyMerlinPulse. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Messages from our first-ever virtual Brainstorm Health," 7 July 2020 Ten minutes later, Spirit defender Natalie Jacobs had to make a goal-line clearance to deny Lindsey Horan. oregonlive, "Portland Thorns draw Washington Spirit in back-and-forth NWSL Challenge Cup match," 5 July 2020 Quidel’s antigen test, which received an emergency clearance in May from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has a sensitivity rate of 80 percent. Joshua Fechter,, "With spike in coronavirus infections, demand for COVID-19 testing surges in San Antonio," 30 June 2020 In its 113-page health and safety protocol document, the NBA spelled out specific actions for those who test positive, including self-isolation, two consecutive negative tests more than 24 hours apart, medical clearance and cardiac screening. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "NBA, players association announce 16 positive coronavirus cases out of 302 tested," 26 June 2020 That job ended when he was reportedly escorted from the White House after failing to obtain a security clearance. Walter M. Shaub Jr., The New York Review of Books, "Ransacking the Republic," 17 June 2020 Radical changes meant to revive JCPenney — including ending coupons and clearance sales in an attempt to capture more upscale shoppers, and introducing household appliances — were spectacular failures. Chris Isidore, CNN, "Closing sales start at some JCPenney stores," 17 June 2020 Students with positive tests should isolate for 14 days and receive clearance from the Protect Purdue Health Center before going to campus. The Indianapolis Star, "Statewide coronavirus update: Here's why Holcomb is optimistic about Indy 500 plan," 8 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for clearance

Time Traveler

The first known use of clearance was in 1540

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Statistics for clearance

Last Updated

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Clearance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for clearance


How to pronounce clearance (audio)

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 How to pronounce clearance (audio) \

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 How to pronounce clearance (audio) \

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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