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 Richard Rosenfeld, a criminologist at the University of Missouri-St Louis, notes that up until the early 1980s homicide-clearance rates in many cities were around 90%. The Economist, "America’s homicide rate has declined since the 1990s. So have homicide-clearance rates," 8 May 2021 The press reported that all students had received medical clearance. WSJ, "Comparing Covid With Asian Flu of the ’50s," 7 May 2021 The only problem is, because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Department has yet to give clearance for the field to be used. Eric Sondheimer Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "Pasadena La Salle still awaiting county approval to use its home baseball field," 5 May 2021 The clearance height, or distance from the bottom of the treadmill to the floor, is also a consideration, Douse says. Lauren Goode, Wired, "Peloton Recalls Treadmills After Dozens of Injuries and 1 Child Death," 5 May 2021 So far, SpaceX has permission to launch up to 12,000 satellites and has requested clearance to launch up to 30,000 more. Mike Wehner, BGR, "UFOs spotted over Washington have a very boring explanation," 5 May 2021 Torsus claims a 32 degree approach angle, 26 degree departure angle, and minimum ground clearance of 13.4 inches beneath the axles. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "This 4WD Off-Road Bus Could Be the World's Toughest Truck," 4 May 2021 Federal regulatory approval is required including clearance by the Federal Communications Commission. David Pitt, Star Tribune, "Meredith to sell TV station division to Gray Television," 3 May 2021 Robert received clearance Thursday, and the Sox reinstated him before the doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field. Lamond Pope,, "Luis Robert returns to the Chicago White Sox after going on the injured list earlier this week with flu-like symptoms: ‘I’m going to be good’," 29 Apr. 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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Statistics for clearance

Last Updated

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Clearance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 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

Comments on clearance

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