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clean bill of health

a certificate of health attesting the lack of a contagious disease, as on a ship.
an assurance, as by a doctor, that one is in good health.
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 of clean bill of health
1850-55 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for clean bill
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Unless you give Maxime up, and it is seen that you have a clean bill of health, you will be detained indefinitely in quarantine.

    The Castle Of The Shadows Alice Muriel Williamson
  • Beat him to it, and give me a clean bill of moral health, eh?

    A Texas Ranger William MacLeod Raine
  • The grizzled lieutenant, commissioned because of his long experience and responsibilities, gave Valier a clean bill of health.

    Tight Squeeze Dean Charles Ing
  • You know I didn't get a clean bill of health from my father's side of the house.

    Painted Veils James Huneker
  • Not permitted to land, though we showed a clean bill of health.

    The Innocents Abroad Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
clean bill 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

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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