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clean bill of health

noun
1.
a certificate of health attesting the lack of a contagious disease, as on a ship.
2.
an assurance, as by a doctor, that one is in good health.
3.
Also, clean bill. an assurance, especially an official verdict by a committee, that a group or an individual has proved, under investigation, to be morally sound, fit for office, etc.
Origin
1850-1855
1850-55

bill of health

noun
1.
a certificate, carried by a ship, attesting to the presence or absence of infectious diseases among the ship's crew and at the port from which it has come.
Idioms
2.
clean bill of health, an attestation of fitness or qualification; a commendation:
The investigating committee gave him a clean bill of health.
Origin
1635-45
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for clean bill health

bill of health

noun
1.
a certificate, issued by a port officer, that attests to the health of a ship's company
2.
(informal) clean bill of health
  1. a good report of one's physical condition
  2. a favourable account of a person's or a company's financial position
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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clean bill health in Medicine

bill of health n.

  1. A certificate stating whether there is infectious disease aboard a ship or in a port of departure, given to the ship's master to present at the next port of arrival.

  2. An attestation as to condition, especially a favorable one.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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clean bill health in Culture

clean bill of health definition


To “get a clean bill of health” is to be told by some authoritative source, generally a doctor, that one is perfectly healthy. The phrase is sometimes used figuratively to indicate that a person or organization has been found free of any sort of irregularity: “After looking into her financial background, the Senate gave the nominee a clean bill of health.”

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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Idioms and Phrases with clean bill health

clean bill of health

A report confirming the absence of fault or guilt in a person or thing, as in Jeff checked every component and gave the computer a clean bill of health, or He had a foolproof alibi so the police had to give him a clean bill of health. This term comes from a 17th-century practice of requiring ships to produce a medical document (bill) attesting to the absence of infectious disease on board before landing.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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