nounNorth American • informal
- A clause exempting certain pre-existing classes of people or things from the requirements of a piece of legislation.More 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.
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.
More definitions of grandfather clauseDefinition of grandfather clause in:
- The US English dictionary