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clean bill of health

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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.
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Origin of clean bill of health

First recorded in 1850–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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clean bill of health in Culture

clean bill of health

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.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with clean bill of 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.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.