from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To fix or secure (a nail or bolt, for example) by bending down or flattening the pointed end that protrudes.
  • intransitive verb To fasten together in this way.
  • intransitive verb To settle definitely and conclusively; make final.
  • intransitive verb Sports To secure (a divisional championship, for instance) before the end of regular season play by having an insurmountable lead.
  • intransitive verb To fasten with a clinch knot.
  • intransitive verb To be held together securely.
  • intransitive verb Sports To hold a boxing opponent's body with one or both arms to prevent or hinder punches.
  • intransitive verb Slang To embrace amorously.
  • noun Something, such as a clamp, that clinches.
  • noun The clinched part of a nail, bolt, or rivet.
  • noun Sports An act or instance of clinching in boxing.
  • noun A clinch knot.
  • noun Slang An amorous embrace.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun See clench.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act or process of holding fast; that which serves to hold fast; a grip; a grasp; a clamp; a holdfast.
  • noun A pun.
  • noun (Naut.) 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 verb To hold fast; to grasp something firmly; to seize or grasp one another.
  • transitive verb To hold firmly; to hold fast by grasping or embracing tightly.
  • transitive verb To set closely together; to close tightly.
  • transitive verb To bend or turn over the point of (something that has been driven through an object), so that it will hold fast.
  • transitive verb To make conclusive; to confirm; to establish.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To fasten securely or permanently.
  • verb To embrace passionately.
  • noun Any of several fastenings.
  • noun The act or process of holding fast; that which serves to hold fast; a grip or grasp.
  • noun obsolete A pun.
  • noun nautical 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.
  • noun A passionate embrace.

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

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


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

Variant of clench.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Arisen from clench in XVI century.


  • 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