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 Here are a few things to know about Verdugo The player that the Red Sox acquired from the Dodgers to replace Betts will — pending a medical clearance — be 23-year-old outfielder Alex Verdugo., "What you need to know about Alex Verdugo and Brusdar Graterol, the newest Red Sox," 5 Feb. 2020 The new model's maximum ground clearance of 8.1 inches is only 0.1 inches lower than the 2002 Passport, the final model year of the last generation. Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, "Road-Tripping In Our Honda Passport Is (Mostly) a Joy," 4 Feb. 2020 Philbin told senators this week that the White House is working with Bolton’s publishers on the clearance process right now, hinting at obstacles ahead while attempting to seem conciliatory. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Welcome to the Trump defense team’s impeachment trial nightmare," 1 Feb. 2020 Just look at how realistic those Target clearance signs look, or that Starbucks menu. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "This 3-Year-Old’s Playroom Was Modeled to Resemble a Target Store, and There's Even a Pretend Starbucks," 28 Jan. 2020 En route from Orange County to Bryant’s youth basketball academy in Thousand Oaks, pilot Ara Zobayan was granted clearance by air traffic control to fly despite limited visibility. Alex Davies, Wired, "Probe of the Kobe Bryant Crash Will Examine If Fog Played a Role," 27 Jan. 2020 He was approved for a special VFR, which allows helicopters the clearance to fly under inclement weather that don’t meet the minimum flight requirements for fixed-wing aircraft. Matthias Gafni,, "Kobe Bryant crash: A helicopter tragedy eerily similar to a famous Bay Area wreck," 27 Jan. 2020 There is now a clearance process taking place, and it's expected that they'll be published online sometime in the next two months. Fox News, "'X-files' of UFO sightings over United Kingdom to be released for the first time," 27 Jan. 2020 Anyone who wants to join one of Nave’s classes can register at after a doctor’s clearance. Beth Thames |, al, "Yoga provides ‘mental quiet place’ for cancer warriors," 22 Jan. 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

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Clearance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 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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