American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various devices used to join, grip, support, or compress mechanical or structural parts.
- n. Any of various tools with opposing, often adjustable sides or parts for bracing objects or holding them together.
- v. To fasten, grip, or support with or as if with a clamp.
- v. To establish by authority; impose: clamped a tax on imports.
- clamp down To become more strict or repressive; impose controls: clamping down on environment polluters.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An instrument of wood, metal, or other rigid material, used to hold anything, or to hold or fasten two or more things together by pressure so as to keep them in the same relative position. Specifically— In joinery: An instrument of wood or metal used for holding glued pieces of timber closely together until the glue hardens. A piece of wood fixed to another with a mortise and tenon, or groove and tongue, so that the fibers of the piece thus fixed cross those of the other and thereby prevent it from casting or warping.
- n. plural The hinged plates over the trunnions of a gun: generally called cap-squares.
- n. One of a pair of movable cheeks of lead or copper covering the jaws of a vise, and enabling it to grasp without bruising.
- n. In botany, in the mycelium of fungi, a nearly semicircular cellular protuberance, like a short branch, which springs from one cell of a filament close to a transverse wall, and is closely applied to the lateral wall of the adjoining cell. Each cell coalesces with the clamp, and thus an open passage is formed between the two cells. Also called clamp-cell.
- n. plural Andirons.
- To fasten with a clamp or clamps; fix a clamp on.
- n. A stack of bricks laid up for burning, in such a manner as to leave spaces between them for the access of the fire, and imperviously inclosed: called a brick-clamp, in distinction from a brick-kiln.
- n. A pile of ore for roasting, or of coal for coking.
- n. A mound of earth lined with straw thrown up over potatoes, beets, turnips, etc., to keep them through the winter.
- n. A large fire made of underwood.
- n. A heap of peat or turf for fuel.
- To burn (bricks) in a clamp. See clamp, n., 1.
- To cover (potatoes, beets, turnips, etc.) with earth for winter keeping.
- n. An obsolete form of clam.
- To tread heavily; tramp.
- n. A heavy footstep or tread; a tramp.
- To make or mend in a clumsy manner; patch.
- To patch or trump up (a charge or an accusation).
- n. A clamp-shell, Tridacna; a chama.
- n. A brace, band, or clasp for strengthening or holding things together.
- v. transitive, intransitive To fasten in place or together with (or as if with) a clamp.
- v. intransitive To tread heavily or clumsily; to clump or clomp.
- v. transitive To hold or grip tightly.
- v. transitive To modify a numeric value so it lies within a specific range.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Something rigid that holds fast or binds things together; a piece of wood or metal, used to hold two or more pieces together.
- n. An instrument with a screw or screws by which work is held in its place or two parts are temporarily held together.
- n. (Joinery) A piece of wood placed across another, or inserted into another, to bind or strengthen.
- n. One of a pair of movable pieces of lead, or other soft material, to cover the jaws of a vise and enable it to grasp without bruising.
- n. (Shipbuilding) A thick plank on the inner part of a ship's side, used to sustain the ends of beams.
- n. A mass of bricks heaped up to be burned; or of ore for roasting, or of coal for coking.
- n. obsolete A mollusk. See Clam.
- v. To fasten with a clamp or clamps; to apply a clamp to; to place in a clamp.
- v. engraving To cover, as vegetables, with earth.
- n. A heavy footstep; a tramp.
- v. To tread heavily or clumsily; to clump.
- v. fasten or fix with a clamp
- n. a device (generally used by carpenters) that holds things firmly together
- v. impose or inflict forcefully
- Middle English, from Middle Dutch klampe. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Police seized 20,945 litres of alcoholic drinks 44,265 pints from underage drinkers during a February half term clamp down on public drinking, Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker announced today.”
“A pipe clamp is really a necessary tool when using screws with roughcut lumber.”
“The level of patriotic indignation in China against posturing by American and European politicians over Tibet is already so high that a long-term clamp-down in Tibet seems inevitable, while public support in China for continued cooperation with the West can no longer be taken for granted.”
“Recent moratorium on development of big-box gaming resorts in US due to economic downturn evolves into a long-term clamp down.”
“The enclosure of the HCM series provides a 'clamp'-style recessed barrier strip, which secures wire without twisting.”
“The clamp was the method we used to get back to a tolerable level of compliance.”
“The bricks near the centre of the clamp will be the hardest.”
“A widely used adaptation of the clamp is the scove kiln, also mistakenly called a clamp.”
“The clamp is the most basic type of kiln since no permanent kiln structure is built.”
“I got the one with the clamp, which is really nice on my balcony railing or at the end of a picnic table.”
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