1. The act or process of clearing.
2. A space cleared; a clearing.
a. The amount of space or distance by which a moving object clears something.
b. The height or width of a passage: an underpass with a 13-foot clearance.
4. An intervening space or distance allowing free play, as between machine parts.
5. Permission for an aircraft, ship, or other vehicle to proceed, as after an inspection of equipment or cargo or during certain traffic conditions.
6. Official certification of blamelessness, trustworthiness, or suitability.
7. A sale, generally at reduced prices, to dispose of old merchandise.
8. The passage of checks and other bills of exchange through a clearing-house.
a. The removal by the kidneys of a substance from blood plasma.
b. Renal clearance.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.