early 13c., from O.Fr. clause, from M.L. clausa, from L. clausula "a closing, termination," in legal sense, "end of a sentence or a legal argument," from clausus, fem. pp. of claudere "to close" (see close (v.)). Sense of "ending" gradually faded.
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. (2004-05-28)