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

Flooded cars with low clearances littered the streets as motorists in larger trucks and sport-utility vehicles tried to drive around them. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Gulf of Mexico States Brace for Potential Hurricane," 10 July 2019 According to the product listing, this particular bed frame is 14 inches high with a 13-inch clearance for storage underneath, replaces a box spring, and assembles in mere minutes with no tools required. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "I Tried the Most Popular Bed Frame on Amazon—Here's My Honest Opinion," 28 June 2019 Naeher with a lazy clearance that catches Sauerbrunn short with Lucia Garcia closing her down. Andrew Keh, New York Times, "U.S. Holds Off an Ascendant Spain, for Now, at Women’s World Cup," 24 June 2019 High jumper Mutaz Barshim returns to competition with a winning clearance of 7-5 1/4 (2.27) in Sopot, Poland., "On Jessica Hull’s decision and Allie Ostrander’s stand: Oregon track & field rundown," 24 June 2019 Smoking also is prohibited, unless inside a vehicle, a structure or an area with at least a 3-foot diameter clearance of brush or shrubs. Mike Cruz, azcentral, "Woodbury Fire has now burned 34,351 acres; community meeting set for Sunday afternoon," 15 June 2019 Planet executives were excited about utilizing Boundless employees with security clearance in a new subsidiary, Planet Federal, dedicated to making their product more useful to the government. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "Investors lose $24 million in satellite intelligence tie-up gone wrong," 14 June 2019 Until now, the Espionage Act has been used to prosecute spies and employees with classified clearances who violated their oath by leaking to the press. Clarence Page,, "Who is a journalist? Don’t let the government decide.," 4 June 2019 With clearance from her doctor and the support of her partner, Baptiste was back at work within four weeks of giving birth for a belly-baring performance with French Montana on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Ashley Velez, The Root, "This Dancer Gave Birth Weeks Before Performing in Beyoncé’s Historic Coachella Set. This Is How She Snapped Back," 11 May 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

15 Jul 2019

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 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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Comments on clearance

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