Definition of clause in English:



  • 1A unit of grammatical organization next below the sentence in rank and in traditional grammar said to consist of a subject and predicate.

    • ‘Is it possible to use the following clauses when referring to the future?’
    • ‘I should have known as soon as they used a clause in a sentence it was a bad idea.’
    • ‘The trick is to make the meaning slide ambiguously from clause to clause, from sentence to sentence.’
    • ‘What we really have here is an adjectival clause qualifying potentially a noun phrase or a noun.’
    • ‘A grounded clause corresponds to the traditional category of finite clause.’
    • ‘I stripped the clauses and the phrases and dug into the dry dirt of my notes.’
    • ‘Associated with these tendencies was a greater focus on single words, rather than on phrases or clauses.’
    • ‘Each experimental group was given instruction on the formation of only one type of relative clause.’
    • ‘This phenomenon is known as ellipsis and often occurs when clauses are conjuncted.’
    • ‘In each sentence above, two clauses are linked by clause-chaining without conjunctions.’
    • ‘Such clauses reflect a growing English self-consciousness, partly expressed in linguistic terms.’
    • ‘A restrictive clause is one which limits, or restricts, the scope of the noun it is referring to.’
    • ‘Again, nearly all of the examples in both tables are integrated relative clauses.’
    • ‘When I get around to putting those clauses in a cohesive sentence, I'll get back to you.’
    expression, group of words, word group, construction, locution, wording, term, turn of phrase, idiom, idiomatic expression, set phrase, phrasal idiom, phrasal verb
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  • 2A particular and separate article, stipulation, or proviso in a treaty, bill, or contract.

    • ‘One of those clauses that I am referring to in particular is clause 409, which was added to the bill.’
    • ‘The rent review clause predicated the existence of an open market for the property.’
    • ‘I guess it is only proper that some comments might have been made that flag concerns with those clauses.’
    • ‘He said the deals were subject to confidentiality clauses and he could not comment on the names of the operators.’
    • ‘It is further notable that whilst some clauses of Magna Carta talk in terms of lords and tenants, others refer to free men generally.’
    • ‘Planning documents can be complex and there can be hidden clauses within certain policies.’
    • ‘Two clauses were responsible, the equal protection clause and the due process clause.’
    • ‘The clauses also provide for jail terms for violations of labor rulings.’
    • ‘Then we go a little further on and find that the clauses expressly state that all bets are off.’
    • ‘Under a provision referred to as clause 24 of the contract there was a time limit.’
    • ‘In fact, there are more clauses than that, because a number of clauses have additional lettered clauses.’
    • ‘It will remove the clause for all new policies from January.’
    • ‘Contracts often have choice-of-law clauses, specifying the law to be applied.’
    • ‘I shall refer to the clauses that deal with the age-limits in various gambling organisations.’
    • ‘An alternative to limitation of liability clauses are liquidated damages clauses.’
    • ‘He told the prime minister two simple clauses would suffice, and take minimal parliamentary time.’
    • ‘Also, I say to the Minister that it does not appear to me that there is a treaty clause in the bill.’
    • ‘Further clauses are aimed at curbing freedom of expression and the right to information.’
    • ‘It is also submitted that the term of five years was in any event subject to break clauses and was not for that reason a term of years certain.’
    • ‘In particular, make sure it is for a fixed term and that there is a break clause to terminate it.’
    section, paragraph, article, subsection, note, item, point, passage, part, heading
    stipulation, condition, proviso, provision, rider
    specification, requirement
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Middle English: via Old French clause, based on Latin claus- shut, closed, from the verb claudere.