Definition of clear and present danger from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


clear and present danger

; NAmE
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the expression used by the US Supreme Court to indicate a situation in which complete freedom of speech is not a person's legal right. No one has a right to say something that would cause a clear (= obvious) and present (= immediate) danger to other people. As an example, the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment does not allow a person to shout 'Fire' in a crowded theatre.