pre·​clear (ˌ)prē-ˈklir How to pronounce preclear (audio)
precleared; preclearing; preclears

transitive verb

: to give prior approval or permission to or for (something or someone) : to clear (something or someone) in advance
preclear goods for import
The ability to preclear passengers would make an expansion to year-round service more feasible, said Porter Air President Bob Deluce.Associated Press
Under the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination … must "preclear" with the Justice Department any changes that may affect minority power at the polls.John Gibeaut
preclearance noun
plural preclearances
Sixteen airports around the world allow U.S.-bound passengers to clear customs before they land. It's a program known as preclearance. Norah O'Donnell
… the preclearance section of the Voting Rights Act. It declared that before putting new laws about electoral procedures into effect, the states and localities covered by the Voting Rights Act had to submit them to the Justice Department for approval. Michael L. Levine

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The result was the landmark opinion by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. striking down the formula Congress had implemented to decide which states had to have the Justice Department or judges preclear election-law changes. Robert Barnes, Washington Post, 24 Oct. 2022 The regulator’s lawsuit eventually led to an unusual agreement that Tesla lawyers would preclear certain of the CEO’s tweets and other public statements. Dave Michaels And Rebecca Elliott, WSJ, 9 Mar. 2022 The plaintiffs are also seeking an order requiring Texas to preclear with the federal government all changes in statewide voting practices for a 10-year period. Dallas News, 3 Sep. 2021 Until 2013, Texas had been one of the states required to preclear voting regulations and congressional redistricting plans with the federal government under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, in order to protect minority constituents. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, 13 May 2021 Note: concertgoers must be precleared to attend by submitting their driver’s license number. Robert Gant, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Dec. 2019 Alabama was one of several Southern states that, prior to 2013, had to have changes in voting rules precleared by federal authorities. John Sharp |, al, 25 Oct. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'preclear.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1953, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of preclear was in 1953

Dictionary Entries Near preclear

Cite this Entry

“Preclear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

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