See also: Clause

English edit

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Etymology edit

From Middle English clause, claus, borrowed from Old French clause, from Medieval Latin clausa (Latin diminutive clausula (close, end; a clause, close of a period)), from Latin clausus, past participle of claudere (to shut, close). See close, its doublet.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

clause (plural clauses)

  1. (grammar) A verb, its necessary grammatical arguments, and any adjuncts affecting them.
  2. (grammar) A verb along with its subject and their modifiers. If a clause provides a complete thought on its own, then it is an independent (superordinate) clause; otherwise, it is (subordinate) dependent.
    • 1988, Andrew Radford, chapter 6, in Transformational grammar: a first course, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, page 300:
      However, Coordination facts seem to undermine this hasty conclusion: thus, consider the following:
      (43)      [Your sister could go to College], but [would she get a degree?]
      The second (italicised) conjunct is a Clause containing an inverted Auxiliary, would. Given our earlier assumptions that inverted Auxiliaries are in C, and that C is a constituent of S-bar, it follows that the italicised Clause in (43) must be an S-bar. But our familiar constraint on Coordination tells us that only constituents belonging to the same Category can be conjoined. Since the second Clause in (43) is clearly an S-bar, then it follows that the first Clause must also be an S-bar — one in which the C(omplementiser) position has been left empty.
  3. (law) A separate part of a contract, a will or another legal document.
    • 1951 April, “Notes and News: North Fife Line, Scotland”, in Railway Magazine, number 600, page 281:
      Mr. Waller adds that when the railway was authorised in 1897, one of the clauses of the Act authorising the transfer of the line to the North British Railway provided that that company should work it in perpetuity, and it was this clause that caused the interim interdict to be granted.

Usage notes edit

In “When it got dark, they went back into the house”, “When it got dark” is a dependent clause within the complete sentence. The independent clause “they went back into the house” could stand alone as a sentence, whereas the dependent clause could not.

Hyponyms edit

types of grammatical clauses
part of a legal document

Derived terms edit

grammatical terms
other terms (unsorted, may also contain grammatical terms)

Related terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb edit

clause (third-person singular simple present clauses, present participle clausing, simple past and past participle claused)

  1. (transitive, shipping) To amend (a bill of lading or similar document).
    • 1970, Asian-African Legal Consultative Committee, Report of the session, number 11:
      The question of clausing the bills of lading, so as to avoid "dirtying", which impairs its negotiability, may also be looked into
    • 1978, Samir Mankabady, The Hamburg rules on the carriage of goods by sea, page 215:
      Any attempt to clause a Bill of Lading will be strenuously resisted by shippers, and they will obtain clean bills in the usual ways
    • 1990, Alan Mitchelhill, Bills of lading: law and practice:
      It was held that the bills of lading presented were in this case 'clean' as they contained no reservations by way of endorsement, clausing or otherwise to suggest that the goods were defective
    • 2004, Martin Dockra with Katherine Reece Thomas, Cases & materials on the carriage of goods by sea, page 104:
      There is little authority in English law dealing with the liability of a carrier who unnecessarily clauses a bill of lading.

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit

French edit

Etymology edit

From Old French clause, borrowed from Medieval Latin clausa.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

clause f (plural clauses)

  1. clause

Further reading edit

Latin edit

Participle edit


  1. vocative masculine singular of clausus

Middle English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Old French clause, from Medieval Latin clausa.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

clause (plural clauses)

  1. sentence, clause
  2. statement, line (of a text)
  3. writing, text, document, letter
  4. A section or portion of a text; a part of a series of quotes
  5. (law) A clause, term, or consideration; a section in a legal document.

Descendants edit

  • English: clause

References edit