Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “clause”

See all translations

clause

noun [C] uk   /klɔːz/ us    /klɑːz/

clause noun [C] (LEGAL DOCUMENT)

law a particular part of a written legal document, for example a law passed by Parliament or a contract (= an agreement): They have added/deleted/amended a clause in the contract which says the company can make people redundant for economic reasons. Clause 4 of the constitution is thought to be the most important section.
More examples

clause noun [C] (GRAMMAR)

B2 specialized language a group of words, consisting of a subject and a finite form of a verb: In the sentence "I can't cook very well but I make qu ite good pancakes", both "I can't cook very well" and "I make good pancakes" are main/independent clauses (= they are of equal importance and could each exist as a separate sentence). In the sentence "I'll get you some stamps if I go to town", "if I go to town" is a subordinate/dependent clause (= it is not as important as the main part of the sentence and could not exist as a separate sentence).
More examples
Grammar
(Definition of clause from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of clause?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “clause” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

escapism

a way of avoiding an unpleasant or boring life, especially by thinking, reading, etc. about more exciting but impossible activities

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

showrooming noun

February 23, 2015
the activity of examining a product in a physical store and then making the purchase with an online retailer Amazon’s new smartphone is specifically designed to make showrooming fast and easy.

Read More