grandfather clause

noun

Definition of grandfather clause

  1. :  a clause creating an exemption based on circumstances previously existing; especially :  a provision in several southern state constitutions designed to enfranchise poor whites and disenfranchise blacks by waiving high voting requirements for descendants of men voting before 1867

Examples of grandfather clause in a sentence

  1. Because of a grandfather clause, the strict emission standards only apply to new cars.

1899

First Known Use of grandfather clause

1899


GRANDFATHER CLAUSE Defined for English Language Learners

grandfather clause

noun

Definition of grandfather clause for English Language Learners

  • law : a part of a law which says that the law does not apply to certain people and things because of conditions that existed before the law was passed


Law Dictionary

grandfather clause

noun

Legal Definition of grandfather clause

  1. :  a clause creating an exemption (as from a law or regulation) based on circumstances previously existing; specifically :  a provision inserted in the constitutions of some southern states after the Civil War requiring high standards of literacy and substantial property qualifications of voters except for descendants of men voting before 1867


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