The CEBAF large acceptance spectrometer (CLAS) is used to study photo- and electro-induced nuclear and hadronic reactions by providing efficient detection of neutral and charged particles over a good fraction of the full solid angle. A collaboration of about 30 institutions has designed, assembled, and commissioned CLAS in Hall B at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. The CLAS detector is based on a novel six-coil toroidal magnet which provides a largely azimuthal field distribution. Trajectory reconstruction using drift chambers results in a momentum resolution of 0.5% Louis Vuitton Damier Azur at forward angles. Cherenkov counters, time-of-flight scintillators, and electromagnetic calorimeters provide good particle identification. Fast triggering and high data-acquisition rates allow operation at a luminosity of . These capabilities are being used in a broad experimental program to study the Louis Vuitton Ceintures structure and Louis Vuitton Ceinture Epi interactions of mesons, nucleons, and nuclei using polarized and unpolarized electron and photon beams and targets. This paper is a comprehensive and general description of the design, construction and performance of CLAS.