have a clean bill of health

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have a clean bill of health

1. To have a report of good physical health, as from a doctor's examination. A: "How did your doctor's appointment go?" B: "Good! I officially have a clean bill of health!"
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 has a clean bill of health according to the environmental agency's investigation. After several years of financial trouble, the company finally has a clean bill of health according to top economic analysts.
See also: bill, clean, have, health, of
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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