Definitions

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

  • noun A piece of cloth, especially a baby's diaper.
  • noun Influence; pull.
  • noun Power; muscle.
  • noun A blow, especially with the fist.
  • noun Baseball A long powerful hit.
  • noun Sports An archery target.
  • transitive verb To hit, especially with the fist.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To strike with the hand; cuff.
  • To patch; mend by sewing on a clout or patch; cobble; hence, to join clumsily.
  • To cover with a piece of cloth or with rags; bandage.
  • To rub with an old piece of cloth, felt, or the like.
  • noun Same as clout-nail.
  • noun A blow with the hand; a cuff.
  • noun A patch; a piece of cloth, leather, etc., used to mend something.
  • noun Any piece of cloth, especially a worthless piece, or one designed for a mean use; a rag.
  • noun Any small piece; a fragment; a tatter; a bit.
  • noun In archery: The mark fixed in the center of the butts at which archers are shooting.
  • noun A small white target placed near the ground.
  • noun An arrow that has hit the target.
  • noun An iron plate fastened upon an axletree to keep it from wearing.
  • To stud or fasten with nails.

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

  • noun A cloth; a piece of cloth or leather; a patch; a rag.
  • noun A swadding cloth.
  • noun obsolete A piece; a fragment.
  • noun The center of the butt at which archers shoot; -- probably once a piece of white cloth or a nail head.
  • noun An iron plate on an axletree or other wood to keep it from wearing; a washer.
  • noun Low A blow with the hand.
  • noun a kind of wrought-iron nail heaving a large flat head; -- used for fastening clouts to axletrees, plowshares, etc., also for studding timber, and for various purposes.
  • transitive verb To cover with cloth, leather, or other material; to bandage; patch, or mend, with a clout.
  • transitive verb To join or patch clumsily.
  • transitive verb To quard with an iron plate, as an axletree.
  • transitive verb Low To give a blow to; to strike.
  • transitive verb To stud with nails, as a timber, or a boot sole.
  • transitive verb clotted cream, i. e., cream obtained by warming new milk.

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

  • noun Influence or effectiveness, especially political.
  • noun regional, informal A blow with the hand.
  • noun informal A home run.
  • noun archery The center of the butt at which archers shoot; probably once a piece of white cloth or a nail head.
  • noun regional, dated A swaddling cloth.
  • noun archaic A cloth; a piece of cloth or leather; a patch; a rag.
  • noun archaic An iron plate on an axletree or other wood to keep it from wearing; a washer.
  • noun obsolete A piece; a fragment.
  • verb To hit, especially with the fist.

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

  • noun special advantage or influence
  • noun (boxing) a blow with the fist
  • noun a target used in archery
  • noun a short nail with a flat head; used to attach sheet metal to wood
  • verb strike hard, especially with the fist

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, cloth patch, shred of clothing, probably from Old English clūt.]

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

[Middle English, back of the hand, slap, probably from clout, cloth patch, metal plate, fragment; see clout.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English clūt, from Proto-Germanic *klūtaz, from Proto-Indo-European *glūdos. Cognate with Old Norse klútr ("kerchief") (Swedish klut, Danish klud), Middle High German klōz ("lump") (German Kloß), dialect Russian глуда (gluda). See also cleat. The sense "influence, especially political" originated in the dialect of Chicago, but has become widespread.

Examples

Comments

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  • ...a new-hatched savage running wild about his native woodlands in a grass clout...

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 12

    July 24, 2008

  • Ne'er cast a clout

    Ere May be out!

    Clout here means an item of clothing. Typically it meant don't get rid of your winter camisole (vest UK) before the end of May as it could get cold.

    July 7, 2009

  • Også "slagkraft"

    January 5, 2010

  • Mr. Pronunciation's bad day, or just an alternative pronunciation?

    January 8, 2010

  • I am totally aghast! Mr. Pronunciation has really let us down this time. You better add it to the list Pro.

    January 9, 2010

  • Tout your clout.

    January 9, 2010

  • empowered them with the necessary economic clout to break free from the confining view that health care was merely a generic good.

    September 14, 2010