verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to strike with a resounding or violent collision: He clashed his fist against the heavy door.
to produce (sound) by or as by collision: The tower bell clashed its mournful note.


Origin of clash

1490–1500; blend of clap1 and dash1
Related formsclash·er, nounclash·ing·ly, adverbin·ter·clash, noun, verbun·clash·ing, adjective

Synonyms for clash

Antonyms for clash Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for clash

Contemporary Examples of clash

Historical Examples of clash

  • Your ideas grow to clash with those held by every right-thinking man.

    American Notes

    Rudyard Kipling

  • With the clash of our spells, no charm can redress our fate.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

  • The swords flashed in the sun and then met with a clash that sounded far and near.

  • There was a clash of steel outside, followed by the beat of drum.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • To the clash of their meeting came an echoing clash from beyond the table.

    The Tavern Knight

    Rafael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for clash



to make or cause to make a loud harsh sound, esp by striking together
(intr) to be incompatible; conflict
(intr) to engage together in conflict or contest
(intr) (of dates or events) to coincide
(intr) (of colours) to look ugly or inharmonious together


a loud harsh noise
a collision or conflict
Scot gossip; tattle
Derived Formsclasher, nounclashingly, adverb

Word Origin for clash

C16: of imitative origin
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

Word Origin and History for clash

c.1500, "to make a loud, sharp sound," of imitative origin, or a blend of clap and crash. Cf. Dutch kletsen "splash, clash," German klatschen, Danish klaske "clash, knock about." Figurative sense, in reference to non-physical strife or battle, is first attested 1620s. Of things, "to come into collision," from 1650s; of colors, "to go badly together," first recorded 1894. Related: Clashed; clashing.


1510s, "sharp, loud noise of collision," from clash (v.). Especially of the noise of conflicting metal weapons. Meaning "hostile encounter" is from 1640s; meaning "conflict of opinions, etc." is from 1781.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper