clean bill of health, to have a/be given a

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clean bill of health

1. A doctor's report that a patient is in good physical health. Josie was relieved when she received a clean bill of health from her physician.
2. An assurance that an organization or process is operating properly according to specific standards. Despite accusations that the company was responsible for polluting the lake, it received a clean bill of health from the environmental agency after a thorough investigation.
See also: bill, clean, health, of

clean bill of health

A report confirming the absence of fault or guilt in a person or thing, as in Jeff checked every component and gave the computer a clean bill of health, or He had a foolproof alibi so the police had to give him a clean bill of health. This term comes from a 17th-century practice of requiring ships to produce a medical document ( bill) attesting to the absence of infectious disease on board before landing.
See also: bill, clean, health, of

clean bill of health, to have a/be given a

To have passed a rigorous inspection. The term comes from the nineteenth-century practice of issuing an actual bill of health, a document signed by the authorities and given to the ship’s master, stating that no infectious diseases existed in the port of embarkation. If there was some kind of epidemic, the ship received a foul bill of health. Before long the term was transferred to the assurance that an individual or group or organization was found, after investigation, to be morally sound.
See also: bill, clean, given, have, of