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.
Definition of grandfather clause in:
- The US English dictionary