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 Following medical clearance, Austin was transported to the Porter County Jail. Carrie Napoleon,, 19 July 2021 The African nation was trying to get former Team USA players Nneka Ogwumike and Elizabeth Williams clearance to play for them. San Francisco Chronicle, 18 July 2021 Dallas lawyer Eric Cedillo said it’s frustrating that no action to restore pre-clearance has occurred. Dallas News, 15 July 2021 Koval, who enjoyed top security clearance, gave Adams details about Oak Ridge’s layout, organization, and personnel, and described its work producing uranium-235 for the Manhattan Project labs in Los Alamos, N.M. Ronald Radosh, WSJ, 15 July 2021 Although Mas trained with the team on Tuesday morning, his availability for this Saturday’s game against Toronto will be dependent on the clearance of his paperwork before the weekend. Julia Poe,, 13 July 2021 BlueNalu’s fish fillets will need U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance before coming to market. Mike Freeman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 July 2021 Poorer neighborhoods bear the brunt of what experts call over- and under-policing: lots of petty arrests, low clearance rates for murders. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 July 2021 In the tournament’s opening game, with Mancini’s team up by 3-0 on Turkey and cruising to a victory, Chiellini and Bonucci celebrated an injury time goal-line clearance with the sort of vigor more traditionally reserved for last-gasp winning goals. New York Times, 9 July 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near clearance

clear-air turbulence


clearance fit

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Statistics for clearance

Last Updated

23 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Clearance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jul. 2021.

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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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on clearance

Nglish: Translation of clearance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clearance for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about clearance


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