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[klasp, klahsp] /klæsp, klɑsp/
a device, usually of metal, for fastening together two or more things or parts of the same thing:
a clasp for paper money; a clasp on a necklace.
a firm grasp or grip:
a clasp of hands.
a tight embrace:
She held the child in a loving clasp.
a small bar or metal design, as a star, for affixing to the ribbon of a military decoration to indicate that the bearer has been awarded the decoration an additional time.
verb (used with object), clasped or (Archaic) claspt
[klaspt, klahspt] /klæspt, klɑspt/ (Show IPA),
to fasten with or as with a clasp.
to furnish with a clasp.
to seize, grasp, or grip with the hand:
She clasped the club in her hand.
to hold in a tight embrace; hug:
He clasped the child to him.
verb (used without object), clasped or (Archaic) claspt
[klaspt, klahspt] /klæspt, klɑspt/ (Show IPA),
to embrace or hug:
The lovers clasped.
Origin of clasp
1275-1325; Middle English clasp (noun), claspen (v.), perhaps blend of clippen clip2 and haspe hasp
Related forms
interclasp, verb (used with object)
reclasp, verb (used with object)
1. brooch, pin, clip, hook, catch. 3. hug. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for clasp
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A written word, a clasp of the hand, may furnish documents for the study of the individual.

    Pedagogical Anthropology Maria Montessori
  • The clasp, you see, is a turquoise; I believe, rather a fine one.

    Hildegarde's Holiday Laura E. Richards
  • Fleda took her hand, and her clasp of it was a reiteration of a promise already given.

    The Spoils of Poynton Henry James
  • She left in Paul's clasp the hand by which he had led her out on the floor.

  • A delicately sculptured laurel-branch is woven into a victor's crown and laid lightly on the tresses it scarcely seems to clasp.

    New Italian sketches John Addington Symonds
British Dictionary definitions for clasp


a fastening, such as a catch or hook, used for holding things together
a firm grasp, hold, or embrace
(military) a bar or insignia on a medal ribbon, to indicate either a second award or the battle, campaign, or reason for its award
verb (transitive)
to hold in a firm grasp
to grasp firmly with the hand
to fasten together with or as if with a clasp
Derived Forms
clasper, noun
Word Origin
C14: of uncertain origin; compare Old English clyppan to embrace
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for clasp

c.1300, claspe, "metal catch or hook used to hold things together," perhaps a metathesis of clapse, and thus from or related to Old English clyppan "clasp" (see clip (v.2)).


late 14c., from clasp (n.). Related: Clasped; clasping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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clasp in Medicine

clasp (klāsp)
A part of a removable partial denture that directly retains or stabilizes a denture.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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clasp in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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