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grandfather clause

noun
1.
U.S. History. a clause in the constitutions of some Southern states after 1890 intended to permit whites to vote while disfranchising blacks: it exempted from new literacy and property qualifications for voting those men entitled to vote before 1867 and their lineal descendants.
2.
any legal provision that exempts a business, class of persons, etc., from a new government regulation that would affect prior rights and privileges.
Origin
1895-1900
1895-1900, Americanism
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for grandfather-clause

grandfather clause

noun
1.
(US, history) a clause in the constitutions of several Southern states that waived electoral literacy requirements for lineal descendants of people voting before 1867, thus ensuring the franchise for illiterate White people: declared unconstitutional in 1915
2.
a clause in legislation that forbids or regulates an activity so that those engaged in it are exempted from the ban
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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19
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