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grandfather clause

Line breaks: grand|father clause

Definition of grandfather clause in English:

noun

North American informal
A clause exempting certain pre-existing classes of people or things from the requirements of a piece of legislation.
Example sentences
  • It also allowed claimholders to sell the claims to new owners who could take advantage of the grandfather clause.
  • A $10 minimum wage with a grandfather clause would be equally bad.
  • Built in the early 1960s, the building was not equipped with automatic fire sprinklers because of a so-called grandfather clause that didn't require older buildings to undergo the equipment renovation.

Origin

early 20th century: from a clause in the constitutions of some Southern states, exempting from voting restrictions the descendants of men who voted before the Civil War.

Definition of grandfather clause in:

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