Definitions

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

  • n. A blow, especially with the fist.
  • n. Baseball A long powerful hit.
  • n. Sports An archery target.
  • n. Informal Influence; pull: "Women in dual-earner households are gaining in job status and earnings ... giving them more clout at work and at home” ( Sue Shellenbarger).
  • n. Informal Power; muscle.
  • n. Chiefly Midland U.S. A piece of cloth, especially a baby's diaper.
  • transitive v. To hit, especially with the fist.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A cloth; a piece of cloth or leather; a patch; a rag.
  • n. A swadding cloth.
  • n. A piece; a fragment.
  • n. The center of the butt at which archers shoot; -- probably once a piece of white cloth or a nail head.
  • n. An iron plate on an axletree or other wood to keep it from wearing; a washer.
  • n. A blow with the hand.
  • transitive v. To cover with cloth, leather, or other material; to bandage; patch, or mend, with a clout.
  • transitive v. To join or patch clumsily.
  • transitive v. To quard with an iron plate, as an axletree.
  • transitive v. To give a blow to; to strike.
  • transitive v. To stud with nails, as a timber, or a boot sole.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

Middle English, probably from Old English clūt, cloth patch.

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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  • 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

  • Tout your clout.

    January 9, 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

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

    January 8, 2010

  • Også "slagkraft"

    January 5, 2010

  • 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

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

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 12

    July 24, 2008