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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

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.
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Idioms
  1. clean bill of health, an attestation of fitness or qualification; a commendation: The investigating committee gave him a clean bill of health.
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Origin of bill of health

First recorded in 1635–45
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for clean-bill-of-health

bill of health

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

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

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.