Clear And Present Danger

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Clear And Present Danger


Quick Summary of Clear And Present Danger


Speech that poses a “clear and present danger” to the public or government will not be protected under the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. The classic example is that shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theatre is not protected speech.



What is the dictionary definition of Clear And Present Danger?

Dictionary Definition


n. the doctrine established in an opinion written by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in Schenk vs. United States (1919) which is used to determine if a situation creates a threat to the public, individual citizens or to the nation. If so, limits can be placed on First Amendment freedoms of speech, press or assembly. His famous example was that no one should shout “fire” in a crowded theater (speech), but other cases have included the printing of a list of the names and addresses of CIA agents (press) or the gathering together of a lynch mob (assembly).


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Definition Sources


Definitions for Clear And Present Danger are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 26th April, 2020 | 2 Views.