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[klawz] /klɔz/
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.
Origin of clause
1175-1225; Middle English claus(e) (< Anglo-French) < Medieval Latin clausa, back formation from Latin clausula clausula
Related forms
clausal, adjective
subclausal, adjective
subclause, noun
Can be confused
clause, claws.

in terrorem clause

[in te-rawr-em, -rohr-] /ɪn tɛˈrɔr ɛm, -ˈroʊr-/
noun, Law.
a clause in a will stating that a beneficiary who contests the will shall lose his or her legacy.
From the Latin word in terrōrem into terror, i.e., by intimidation, by way of warning Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for clause
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • An unsound text, the insertion of before the clause, sent Lessing on a wrong track.

    Ephemera Critica John Churton Collins
  • The first is as to the relation of this clause to the preceding.

    Expositions of Holy Scripture Alexander Maclaren
  • These refer to the subject of the sentence or clause in which they stand; like myself, yourself, in 'I see myself,' etc.

    New Latin Grammar Charles E. Bennett
  • The meaning of the clause is, that feel suffering quite as sharply as they.

    Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 8 Charles H. Sylvester
  • This follows a verb or a verbal, but the verb of the clause introduced by like is regularly omitted.

    An English Grammar W. M. Baskervill and J. W. Sewell
British Dictionary definitions for clause


(grammar) a group of words, consisting of a subject and a predicate including a finite verb, that does not necessarily constitute a sentence See also main clause, subordinate clause, coordinate clause
a section of a legal document such as a contract, will, or draft statute
Derived Forms
clausal, adjective
Word Origin
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for clause

c.1200, "a sentence, a brief statement, a short passage," from Old French clause "stipulation" (in a legal document), 12c., from Medieval Latin clausa "conclusion," used in the sense of classical Latin clausula "the end, a closing, termination," also "end of a sentence or a legal argument," from clausa, fem. noun from past participle of claudere "to close, to shut, to conclude" (see close (v.)). Grammatical sense is from c.1300. Legal meaning "distinct condition, stipulation, or proviso" is recorded from late 14c. in English. The sense of "ending" seems to have fallen from the word between Latin and French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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clause in Culture

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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