Definition of grandfather clause
: 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
Because of a grandfather clause, the strict emission standards only apply to new cars.
First Known Use of grandfather clause
GRANDFATHER CLAUSE Defined for English Language Learners
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
Legal Definition of grandfather clause
: 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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