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[klawz] /klɔz/
Grammar. a syntactic construction containing a subject and predicate and forming part of a sentence or constituting a whole simple sentence.
a distinct article or provision in a contract, treaty, will, or other formal or legal written document.
1175-1225; Middle English claus(e) (< Anglo-French) < Medieval Latin clausa, back formation from Latin clausula clausula
Related forms
clausal, adjective
subclausal, adjective
subclause, noun
Can be confused
clause, claws. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for clause
  • The objection is that the interposed phrase or clause needlessly interrupts the natural order of the main clause.
  • Do not use a semicolon between a clause and a phrase, or a main clause and a subordinate clause.
  • It would have made law by establishing, as a matter of precedent, that the equal protection clause does not reach that far.
  • The business plan led to a second misstep, because it included a dubious opt-out clause.
  • There are conflicting interpretations of the refugee clause in the text of the initiative.
  • Meanwhile the ground workers have voted for action to support demands for the extension of their job guarantee clause.
  • Pressure is growing to include a clause to demutualise the exchange in order to loosen the grip of the brokers.
  • The purpose clause is used to help the reader interpret the regulations.
  • The reserve clause survived, but it had been irrevocably weakened.
British Dictionary definitions for clause


(grammar) a group of words, consisting of a subject and a predicate including a finite verb, that does not necessarily constitute a sentence See also main clause, subordinate clause, coordinate clause
a section of a legal document such as a contract, will, or draft statute
Derived Forms
clausal, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from Medieval Latin clausa a closing (of a rhetorical period), back formation from Latin clausula, from claudere to close
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for clause

c.1200, "a sentence, a brief statement, a short passage," from Old French clause "stipulation" (in a legal document), 12c., from Medieval Latin clausa "conclusion," used in the sense of classical Latin clausula "the end, a closing, termination," also "end of a sentence or a legal argument," from clausa, fem. noun from past participle of claudere "to close, to shut, to conclude" (see close (v.)). Grammatical sense is from c.1300. Legal meaning "distinct condition, stipulation, or proviso" is recorded from late 14c. in English. The sense of "ending" seems to have fallen from the word between Latin and French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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clause in Culture

clause definition

A group of words in a sentence that contains a subject and predicate. (See dependent clause and independent clause.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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clause in Technology

1. A logical formula in conjunctive normal form, which has the schema
p1 ^ ...^ pm => q1 V ... V qn.
or, equivalently,
~p1 V ... V ~pn V q1 V ... V qn,
where pi and qi are atoms.
The operators ~, ^, V, => are connectives, where ~ stands for negation, ^ for conjunction, V for disjunction and => for implication.
2. A part of a sentence (or programming language statement) that does not constitute a full sentence, e.g. an adjectival clause in human language or a WHERE clause in a SQL statement.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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