Definition of clearance in US English:



  • 1The action or process of removing or getting rid of something or of something's dispersing.

    ‘cleaning of the machine should include clearance of blockages’
    ‘there will be sunny intervals after clearance of any early mist’
    • ‘The navy clearance diving team will be home in late May.’
    • ‘Factors that may limit the usefulness of tanks in clearance operations include the following.’
    • ‘The clearance interval is signalled to pedestrians by a flashing red signal, which is displayed using the same lantern and the same standing person symbol as the steady red prohibition signal.’
    • ‘This includes bridge building, mine clearance, water supply, bulk fuels, route maintenance and field defences.’
    • ‘However this clearance has not reduced the level of threat to civilian populations and relief agencies as it was aimed at facilitating the military advance.’
    • ‘Other alternative airway clearance techniques may involve handheld devices to assist with mobilizing the secretions.’
    • ‘I patronize the clearance racks and the department store sales.’
    • ‘Future work will include repairs to rural roads and road bridges and clearance of debris from waterways.’
    • ‘She and I headed straight for the clearance rack, talking as we went.’
    • ‘This clearance was mediated by both active and passive transport processes.’
    • ‘The other available demining strategies include clearance, destruction of stockpiles and the universalisation of the concept of the convention.’
    • ‘And on a more everyday level, clearance rates - the percentage of crimes resolved by police - are up across the board.’
    • ‘The school gives training in both ship diving and clearance diving.’
    • ‘When all pedestrians are agile and complete their crossing early in the clearance interval, vehicles can continue through the crossing without waiting for the green signal.’
    • ‘If mucociliary clearance is impaired, colonization is followed by rapid replication and clinical infection.’
    • ‘Take a brisk stroll through the mall and catch the holiday clearance sale.’
    • ‘This ability of the kidneys to get rid of excess water from the body is called ‘free water clearance.’’
    destruction, knocking down, pulling down, tearing down, flattening, razing, levelling, bulldozing
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    1. 1.1often with modifier The removal of buildings, people, or trees from land so as to free it for alternative uses.
      ‘slum clearance accelerated during the 1960s’
      ‘forest clearances’
      • ‘Work on the site, including demolition and clearance, will begin towards the end of this month.’
      • ‘Two hundred years ago the roe deer was extinct in England and Wales, the victim of over-hunting and forest clearance.’
      • ‘‘We need government assistance to overcome forest theft and farm clearance as we can't do it alone,’ he urged.’
      • ‘From the 5th to the 12th centuries, agricultural land was created by forest clearance, or was reclaimed from marshland and the sea.’
      • ‘This encompasses securing the site perimeter, demolition and site clearance, flood defences, sheet piling, public riverside promenade and plaza.’
      • ‘In this extensive process of clearance 40 graves were encountered and all of them opened.’
      • ‘The argument that the phrase referred only to building operations of a constructional nature and not to operations consisting in demolitions or site clearance was rejected.’
      • ‘Options include total demolition with redevelopment, total renovation or partial clearance and renovation.’
      • ‘Traditional preferences together with modern equipment have resulted in the accelerated clearance of old growth forests.’
      • ‘She aids him in everything from land clearance to castle building.’
      • ‘However, even in Amazonia, clearance is not a one-way process; for every 3 ha cleared, perhaps one is reclaimed by forest regeneration.’
      • ‘The main threats now are the continuing effects of Dutch elm disease, clearance of mature trees and pollution from the spray drift of agrochemicals.’
      • ‘The rebuilding costs automatically include an allowance for full central heating costs, demolition and site clearance as well as architect and surveyor fees.’
      • ‘Work started in spring of last year, with demolition, clearance and work to the new road lay-out.’
      • ‘The latest figures show the rate of forest clearance in the Amazon last year was the second highest on record.’
      • ‘In Greece, forest clearance and population increases led to severe soil erosion in the period 4000 to 3000 BC.’
      • ‘It will become a criminal offence to carry out damaging works such as road building, tree clearance or pond drainage without the consent of English Nature.’
      • ‘They say the programme of tree felling and undergrowth clearance is being carried out at the wrong time of year, disturbing kingfishers, otters and bats.’
      • ‘The extensive sale of royal forests and land clearance for agriculture also had their effect on the oaks.’
      • ‘But juniper trees were cut down during land clearances and for fuel.’
      removal, clearing, clear-out, demolition
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    2. 1.2 (in soccer and other games) a kick or hit that sends the ball out of a defensive zone.
      • ‘An early sliced clearance seemed to betray some attendant nerves.’
      • ‘His run took him to the byline and his clearance only sent the ball running across the goalline.’
      • ‘A weak clearance fell to Rosser who blasted it low into the net.’
      • ‘But they then displayed the defensive lapses that have lost them so dearly this last month as a penalty and two goals from failed clearances cost them the match.’
      • ‘Soft, sloppy goals caused by panicky clearances and unfocused defending have blighted their play.’
      • ‘He dances through again and is denied only by a last-ditch goal-line clearance.’
      • ‘They kept battling and could have equalised, but great goalkeeping and a goal-line clearance saw them hold out.’
      • ‘But, two goalline clearances and some sensational saves ensured York stayed in sight.’
      • ‘Then they returned the compliment by charging down a goal line clearance to reduce the deficit to 31-21.’
      • ‘The striker's flick was instinctive and accurate enough to demand a goal-line clearance.’
      • ‘For the next five minutes it was all Stretford and it was down to some goal line clearances and the post to keep the score at 1-1.’
      • ‘There has also been talk of him leaving the club, but the Frenchman's worth was exemplified after 15 minutes with an extraordinary goal line clearance.’
      • ‘From a series of very well worked set plays St Mary's almost doubled their lead on four occasions only to be stopped by a series of goalline clearances.’
      • ‘Around ten minutes into the second half, a testing series of corners was swung in underneath the cross bar requiring four goal line clearances in a frantic few minutes.’
      • ‘Their first real chance of the contest came after 22 minutes of play in the first half but they were stopped by a goal line clearance.’
      • ‘He warns against carrying the ball across the face of the goal and urges all clearances that can't be made down-field to be directed to the sidelines.’
      • ‘The only thing on the up for the hosts was their attempted clearance from defence.’
      • ‘However, if luck had to be on their side they would have won by a least another five goals as the crossbar and goal line clearances saved the home side from a hammering.’
      • ‘City's third skipper of the current campaign capped an aggressive display with a number of fine clearances and his first goal of the season.’
      • ‘The ball was slipped to a free player who should have made the most of the open goal but he made a supremely confident and composed clearance off the goal line.’
  • 2Official authorization for something to proceed or take place.

    ‘getting diplomatic clearance to fly into or over a country is not always easy’
    • ‘If the project gets clearance from the authorities concerned, the matches could be held during December and January depending upon availability of players, the sources said.’
    • ‘They were awaiting clearance from head office and also from a contractor.’
    • ‘The company obtained regulatory clearance for the merger from the US Federal Communications Commission last week.’
    • ‘Other hurdles have to be got though, however, including clearance from the Mergers and Monopolies Commission, which is expected to deal with the issue fairly quickly.’
    • ‘Don't abandon your shelters until you're given clearance by the local authorities.’
    • ‘Before doing any bike specific force work or high intensity intervals get clearance from your doctor.’
    • ‘Diving here requires clearance from the Ministry of Defence.’
    • ‘Once clearance has been authorized, it is imperative to receive proper instruction from a certified exercise professional.’
    • ‘You may first enter the building before entering the unit and your service provider may need special clearance to enter the building or complex.’
    • ‘The clearance process has taken somewhat longer than it took to do the studies in the first place at this point.’
    • ‘Our patents clearance process makes sure we are not infringing the patents of anybody else.’
    • ‘If you believe your husband is sincere in his permission, then you have a kind of moral clearance to proceed, if you choose to.’
    • ‘Once the controlling officer gives the clearance, the candidate can commence the test at the computer.’
    • ‘The company is still going through the process of receiving environmental clearance from the Environmental Management Authority.’
    • ‘Post-menopausal women were required to obtain medical clearance from their physicians to participate in the study.’
    • ‘A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture said it only received clearance for grant aid in July and is processing 72 applications for the grant aid.’
    • ‘However, before going on any specific diet, please obtain clearance from your doctor.’
    • ‘At the time the deal was struck, it had yet to receive regulatory clearance from British competition authorities.’
    • ‘Obtain clearance from your doctor if you've been inactive for six months or more; otherwise you can step right into this eight-week program.’
    • ‘However, this had been hindered through highly bureaucratic and costly processes of sample clearance.’
    authorization, permission, consent, approval, seal of approval, blessing, acceptance, leave, sanction, licence, dispensation, assent, agreement, concurrence, endorsement, imprimatur
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    1. 2.1 Official permission for someone to have access to classified information.
      ‘these people don't have clearance’
      • ‘The lack of security checks on employees extends right to the highest levels of clearance, the report said.’
      • ‘I did not want any cloud of suspicion hanging over me, plus I had a high level clearance with the Department of Defense, and I needed my day in court.’
      • ‘She wondered if she could even be trusted with a top-secret security clearance.’
      • ‘The watchdog said too many people in Canada have the ability to issue passports, and some of those officials do not have adequate security clearance.’
      • ‘Students will get a passport and security clearance on the course, which will also offer them flights in the UK and to European destinations, along with a tour of a European airport.’
      • ‘An intelligence analyst temporarily lost his top-secret security clearance because he faxed his resume using a commercial machine.’
      • ‘And revealing it to someone without proper security clearance or without a need to know is not authorized and is a violation.’
      • ‘But the documents describing his security clearance could not lie.’
      • ‘Who would have ever thought he'd even get his security clearance back?’
      • ‘For the other, it urged an official reprimand and review of his security clearance.’
      • ‘He had the highest security clearance, which gave him access to extremely sensitive data.’
      • ‘There are some say that he should at least lose his security clearance.’
      • ‘I'm afraid she doesn't have high enough security clearance for that.’
      • ‘In other words, they've had access to all the secret documents and they were not asked for security clearance until now, which is on the eve of the trial.’
      • ‘Does her high security clearance prevent her from getting fired for not giving a whit about national security risks for which she's the responsible agent?’
      • ‘I managed to get some information with my security clearance before I went on the run.’
      • ‘Given the nature of the question, it is difficult for those of us outside the intelligence community or without high level clearance to evaluate.’
      • ‘We're going to be here for several hours and then we are going to have to provide security clearance that is acceptable to the FBI, whether we go back to the UK or on to Washington.’
      • ‘He agreed to surrender his security clearance and cooperate in the government's continuing investigation, the Justice Department said.’
      • ‘Only people with classified security clearance were allowed to go inside the room.’
      authorization, permission, consent, approval, seal of approval, blessing, acceptance, leave, sanction, licence, dispensation, assent, agreement, concurrence, endorsement, imprimatur
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    2. 2.2 Permission for an aircraft to take off or land at an airport.
      ‘he took off without air traffic clearance’
      • ‘He was asking for permission to land and having gotten the necessary clearance he brought the ship in to one of the huge bays.’
      • ‘I need clearance to land a Learjet 35A at any available airport.’
      • ‘The aircraft received clearance for take-off to Los Angeles at 7.45 am on Tuesday.’
      • ‘Obtaining clearance from the local air traffic control, she eased off the tarmac into the air.’
      • ‘There was no further communication between the aircraft and ATC after the crew acknowledged receiving clearance for the approach.’
      • ‘There is no requirement for us to be close to the runway to receive a takeoff clearance.’
      • ‘If the airport is open and the tower gives the aircraft and the pilot clearance to land, then the pilot makes the decision whether or not he thinks it's safe.’
      • ‘As I attempted to respond to the clearance confirmation, we had complete electrical failure!’
      • ‘She climbed up the ladder of the small craft and awaited clearance for takeoff.’
      • ‘Once the check is completed and everything is found to be acceptable, the crew will be given a clearance to the destination airport.’
      • ‘Even so, there's no guarantee of receiving a takeoff clearance.’
      • ‘The doomed plane was the last to be given clearance to take off before the airport was closed due to fog.’
      • ‘He had to get the Air Traffic Control clearance and he had to communicate it.’
      permission, consent, authorization, sanction, warrant, dispensation, concession, indulgence, approval, blessing, agreement, backing, assent, acceptance, confirmation, ratification, mandate, licence, acquiescence, concurrence, liberty, freedom
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    3. 2.3 The clearing of a person or ship by customs.
      • ‘She was granted entry clearance on 11 th December, 1994.’
      • ‘A widower, he wanted my help in getting entry clearance for his second wife, from Pakistan.’
      • ‘The container has since arrived in Valparaiso where they are awaiting customs clearance.’
      • ‘How did these wretched vehicles get customs clearance to enter the Philippines?’
      • ‘Neither had obtained prior entry clearance to the United Kingdom as required.’
    4. 2.4 A certificate showing that clearance of a person or ship has been granted.
      • ‘Obviously, these clearances were granted in order to gain propaganda mileage for the elections.’
    5. 2.5 The process of clearing checks through a clearinghouse.
      • ‘Without waiting for clearance of the cheques it issued the occupation certificate after which the trust stopped payment of the cheques.’
      • ‘While I was waiting for the last item to go through cheque clearance I put a paperback book up, just to try the market.’
      • ‘The divergence in the transactions covered under the umbrella of money transfer orders contrasts with the system built around cheques and their clearance through banking channels.’
      • ‘Finally the banks are going to be forced to come clean and speed up cheque clearance.’
      • ‘There are 8,000 banks across Europe, so it will be a number of years before the clearance systems can be fully integrated.’
      • ‘For more than 11 days the six banks were excluded from the daily inter-bank clearance of cheques.’
      payment, discharge, defrayal, liquidation, settling, settling up, clearing, satisfaction
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  • 3Clear space allowed for a thing to move past or under another.

    ‘always give cyclists plenty of clearance’
    • ‘Times have changed and we've also got traffic flow to consider so there had to be enough clearance underneath for cars to pass safely.’
    • ‘Rear seat passengers have a decent amount of room for a car of this class, with lots of head clearance and no need to be squashed against the backs of the front seats.’
    • ‘Unique in this segment are 15-inch wheels as standard, for improved ground clearance.’
    • ‘Aren't there laws concerning boundary wall height, roof clearance, building from boundary distance?’
    • ‘One is to gain clearance above trees, houses and other obstacles that create turbulence and reduce the power of the wind reaching the wind plant.’
    • ‘The smooth curvature allows plenty of cornering clearance.’
    • ‘In all the designs we examined this time, the maximum clearance for riverborne traffic under the bridge would be around 4.5 metres.’
    • ‘He watches for prop clearance and ensures the aircraft doesn't tilt while fuel is pumped into special bladders.’
    • ‘For street trees the minimum clearance is often specified by municipal ordinance.’
    • ‘They're raised with enough clearance so the penguins can waddle under them on the way to their burrows.’
    • ‘We quickly stopped the aircraft, with clearance from an approaching obstacle but not much mental comfort.’
    • ‘The tunnel has been dogged by controversy over its clearance height, which is lower than the NRA's standard motorway bridge of 5.3 metres.’
    • ‘The machines can be grouped side by side with zero clearance between machines to make the best use of limited floorspace.’
    • ‘Depending on the irregularity of the terrain, the operator can adjust both the ground clearance of the machine and height of each step.’
    • ‘And give your trees the same wide clearance - stay well beyond the driplines.’
    • ‘Those 14 record entries are the most in history by a woman and included the first ever clearance of 6 feet.’
    • ‘They should be perfectly lined up to allow the sash to have just enough clearance for free movement, but not too much.’
    • ‘Ground clearance is 205 mm and special features include a newly designed rear tailgate, a dash-mounted handbrake and a CD player as standard.’
    • ‘The crew chief for the parked aircraft was also observing the wingtip clearance and continued to signal to the marshaller that all was clear, giving a thumbs-up.’
    • ‘The wire rings add just enough space to create enough clearance between the boards, while still allowing us to put 16 boards in the lunchbox.’
    space, gap, room, room to spare, headroom, margin, leeway, allowance, separation, clearing
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