from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To fix or secure (a nail or bolt, for example) by bending down or flattening the pointed end that protrudes.
  • transitive v. To fasten together in this way.
  • transitive v. To settle definitely and conclusively; make final: "The cocktail circuit is a constant and more contracts are clinched over pâté than over paper” ( Ann L. Trebbe).
  • transitive v. Sports To secure (a divisional championship, for instance) before the end of regular season play by having an insurmountable lead.
  • transitive v. Nautical To fasten with a clinch.
  • intransitive v. To be held together securely.
  • intransitive v. Sports To hold a boxing opponent's body with one or both arms to prevent or hinder punches.
  • intransitive v. Slang To embrace amorously.
  • n. Something, such as a clamp, that clinches.
  • n. The clinched part of a nail, bolt, or rivet.
  • n. Sports An act or instance of clinching in boxing.
  • n. Nautical A knot in a rope made by a half hitch with the end of the rope fastened back by seizing. Also called clench.
  • n. Slang An amorous embrace.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To fasten securely or permanently.
  • v. To embrace passionately.
  • n. Any of several fastenings.
  • n. The act or process of holding fast; that which serves to hold fast; a grip or grasp.
  • n. A pun.
  • n. A hitch or bend by which a rope is made fast to the ring of an anchor, or the breeching of a ship's gun to the ringbolts.
  • n. A passionate embrace.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or process of holding fast; that which serves to hold fast; a grip; a grasp; a clamp; a holdfast.
  • n. A pun.
  • n. A hitch or bend by which a rope is made fast to the ring of an anchor, or the breeching of a ship's gun to the ringbolts.
  • intransitive v. To hold fast; to grasp something firmly; to seize or grasp one another.
  • transitive v. To hold firmly; to hold fast by grasping or embracing tightly.
  • transitive v. To set closely together; to close tightly.
  • transitive v. To bend or turn over the point of (something that has been driven through an object), so that it will hold fast.
  • transitive v. To make conclusive; to confirm; to establish.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See clench.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. secure or fasten by flattening the ends of nails or bolts
  • n. a tight or amorous embrace
  • v. embrace amorously
  • n. a device (generally used by carpenters) that holds things firmly together
  • v. flatten the ends (of nails and rivets)
  • v. hold a boxing opponent with one or both arms so as to prevent punches
  • v. hold in a tight grasp
  • n. a small slip noose made with seizing
  • n. (boxing) the act of one boxer holding onto the other to avoid being hit and to rest momentarily
  • v. settle conclusively
  • n. the flattened part of a nail or bolt or rivet


Variant of clench.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Arisen from clench in XVI century. (Wiktionary)


  • My brother swears the improved clinch is the only way to go and a very good friend went to great lengths to test knot breaking strength and landed on the Trilene Knot.

    The Perfect Knot

  • The improved clinch is the way to go with large mouths

    On Pound-Test and Knots

  • The playoff clinch is a plus, but we definitely needed this home win before we went on this road trip.

  • Protag arrives at disco to find Antag and Sweethart in clinch, and leaves

    Persian decision making....

  • Tinner's tacks, which are used for clinching, are commonly called clinch-nails.

    Handwork in Wood

  • Against Moon, Sanderson fell behind 1-0 at the start of the second period when he surrendered a point on a tie-up known as the clinch, rather than risk getting tossed for a three-point throw. - With little fanfare, Sanderson celebrates golden accomplishment

  • Muay Thai fighters also master the art of the clinch, which is a series of techniques to get in close to your opponent and hold him in such a way that he is susceptible to any number of devastating strikes.

  • I do think Couture will be fine on his back and that his dirty boxing in the clinch will be a difference maker as well.

    Blog updates

  • Obama cannot "clinch" the nomination even if he won every delegate left to win.

    Delegate update: Obama 10 delegates short

  • Obama cannot "clinch" the nomination until the convention, as each of the delegates (super or elected) are free to change their mind at any time until the actual vote at the convention.

    Obama Nets Over Almost Two-Dozen Super-Delegates So Far Today


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  • 007 used this word with Wade when they were rescued in Cuba.

    June 9, 2012