- to settle (a matter) decisively: After they clinched the deal they went out to celebrate.
- to secure (a nail, screw, etc.) in position by beating down the protruding point: He drove the nails through the board and clinched the points flat with a hammer.
- to fasten (objects) together by nails, screws, etc., secured in this manner.
- Nautical. to fasten by a clinch.
- Boxing. to engage in a clinch: The boxers clinched and were separated by the referee.
- Slang. to embrace, especially passionately.
- (of a clinched nail, screw, etc.) to hold fast; be secure.
- the act of clinching.
- Boxing. an act or instance of one or both boxers holding the other about the arms or body in order to prevent or hinder the opponent's punches.
- Slang. a passionate embrace.
- a clinched nail or fastening.
- the bent part of a clinched nail, screw, etc.
- a knot or bend in which a bight or eye is made by making a loop or turn in the rope and seizing the end to the standing part.
- Archaic. a pun.
Origin of clinch
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for clinch
Only the finest vintages and producers will clinch the deal.Beer Countries vs. Wine Countries
December 7, 2014
The Rabin government went on to clinch a first-ever peace deal with the Palestinians.Israel’s Great Haredi Hope
December 6, 2012
Obama is still not likely to win Texas in November, but his strong performance has helped him clinch the next few news cycles.Mitt Romney Clinches GOP Nomination & More Texas Primary Results
May 30, 2012
Mitt Romney is expected to clinch the Republican nomination, but does it even matter?Meghan McCain: Is It Too Late for Mitt Romney and Republicans?
April 6, 2012
The delegate race will slog on, until Mitt can clinch 1,144—a goal that is still months away.Mitt Romney Romps in Illinois, But the Long Race Continues
March 21, 2012
Still, just to clinch the thing, we'll calcine him, gin-house and all.The Cavalier
George Washington Cable
Say but the word, and we'll have another flagon of sack to clinch the bargain.'Micah Clarke
Arthur Conan Doyle
"We must clinch our victory, men," Hilary shouted above the roar of the elements.Slaves of Mercury
He struck his cane on the floor as he spoke, and grasped it firmer, as if to clinch his remark.The Universal Reciter
Then he added as though to clinch his statement, “not by a sight.”The Twins of Suffering Creek
- (tr) to secure (a driven nail) by bending the protruding point over
- (tr) to hold together in such a mannerto clinch the corners of the frame
- (tr) to settle (something, such as an argument, bargain, etc) in a definite way
- (tr) nautical to fasten by means of a clinch
- (intr) to engage in a clinch, as in boxing or wrestling
- the act of clinching
- a nail with its point bent over
- the part of such a nail, etc, that has been bent over
- boxing wrestling an act or an instance in which one or both competitors hold on to the other to avoid punches, regain wind, etc
- slang a lovers' embrace
- nautical a loop or eye formed in a line by seizing the end to the standing part.
Word Origin and History for clinch
1560s, "clasp, interlock," especially with a bent nail, variant of clench. The sense of "settle decisively" is first recorded 1716, from the notion of "clinching" the point of a nail to keep it fast. Boxing sense is from 1860. Related: Clinched; clinching.
1620s, "method of fastening," from clinch (v.). Meaning "a fastening by bent nail" is from 1650s. In pugilism, from 1875.