Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

clench

[klench] /klɛntʃ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to close (the hands, teeth, etc.) tightly.
2.
to grasp firmly; grip.
3.
clinch (def 1).
4.
clinch (defs 2–4).
verb (used without object)
5.
to close or knot up tightly:
His hands clenched as he faced his enemy.
noun
6.
the act of clenching.
7.
a tight hold; grip.
8.
something that clenches or holds fast.
9.
clinch (defs 9, 11, 12).
Origin of clench
1200-1250
1200-50; Middle English clenchen; compare Old English beclencan hold fast
Can be confused
clench, clinch.
Synonyms
2. clasp, clutch.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for clench
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And as Silvere, pale and trembling more than she, began to clench his fists: "Stop!"

  • Then he retreated a few steps further on seeing Silvere clench his fists.

  • She made an impatient movement and he saw her clench the hand that was lying on the table.

    The Rescue Joseph Conrad
  • She had to clench her teeth to keep her lips from trembling.

    Rim o' the World B. M. Bower
  • His hands, busily engaged in buttoning his gloves, did not clench.

  • Then he tried to clench his fist in them without tearing them.

    Debts of Honor Maurus Jkai
British Dictionary definitions for clench

clench

/klɛntʃ/
verb (transitive)
1.
to close or squeeze together (the teeth, a fist, etc) tightly
2.
to grasp or grip firmly
noun
3.
a firm grasp or grip
4.
a device that grasps or grips, such as a clamp
noun, verb
5.
another word for clinch
Word Origin
Old English beclencan, related to Old High German klenken to tie, Middle High German klank noose, Dutch klinken rivet
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for clench
v.

Old English (be)clencan "to hold fast, make cling," causative of clingan (see cling); cf. stench/stink. Related: Clenched; clenching.

n.

"part of a nail that clinchers," 1590s, from clench (v.). Meaning "a grasp, grip" is from 1779.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for clench

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for clench

13
16
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for clench