- (grammar, informal) A group of two or more words which include a subject and any necessary predicate (the predicate also includes a verb, conjunction, or a preposition) to begin the clause; however, this clause is not considered a sentence for colloquial purposes.
- (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.
- (law) A separate part of a contract, a will or another legal document.
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.
(third-person singular simple present clauses, present participle clausing, simple past and past participle claused)
- (shipping) To amend (a bill of lading or similar document).
From Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin clausa (“a clause”) (Latin diminutive clausula (“a clause, close of a period”)), from Latin clausus, past participle of claudere (“to shut, close”); see close.