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

clausal, adjective
subclausal, adjective
subclause, noun

clause, claws. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
clause (klɔːz)
1.  grammar main clause subordinate clause See also coordinate clause a group of words, consisting of a subject and a predicate including a finite verb, that does not necessarily constitute a sentence
2.  a section of a legal document such as a contract, will, or draft statute
[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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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Example sentences
They have to have by-laws with clauses that renounce poaching and to adopt a
  technique they call conservation farming.
The second sentence was a series of independent clauses concatenated with
In effect, regulatory elements introduce the possibility of environmentally
  modulated if-then clauses.
Used between independent clauses, it indicates only that a relation exists
  between them without defining that relation.
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