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verb (used without object)
  1. to make a loud, harsh noise: The gears of the old car clashed and grated.
  2. to come together or collide, especially noisily: The cymbals clashed.
  3. to conflict; disagree: Their stories of the accident clashed completely.
  4. (of juxtaposed colors) to be offensive to the eye.
  5. to engage in a physical conflict or contest, as in a game or a battle (often followed by with): The Yankees clash with the White Sox for the final game of the season.
verb (used with object)
  1. to strike with a resounding or violent collision: He clashed his fist against the heavy door.
  2. to produce (sound) by or as by collision: The tower bell clashed its mournful note.
  1. a loud, harsh noise, as of a collision: The automobiles collided with a terrible clash.
  2. a collision, especially a noisy one.
  3. a conflict; opposition, especially of views or interests: a clash between nations.
  4. a battle, fight, or skirmish: The clash between the border patrols left three men dead.

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

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Antonyms for clash Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for clashing

discord, disagreement, opposition

Examples from the Web for clashing

Contemporary Examples of clashing

Historical Examples of clashing

  • There was a sound of rude voices, and a clashing of swords and staves.

  • There was a great snarling and growling, a clashing of teeth and a flurry of bodies.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • He sees Germany still a mere crazy-quilt of clashing states.

    Blood and Iron

    John Hubert Greusel

  • She got up with a clashing of little chains and yawned broadly.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

  • The policies of the English colonists and of their general government were ever clashing.

    Afloat on the Ohio

    Reuben Gold Thwaites

British Dictionary definitions for clashing


  1. to make or cause to make a loud harsh sound, esp by striking together
  2. (intr) to be incompatible; conflict
  3. (intr) to engage together in conflict or contest
  4. (intr) (of dates or events) to coincide
  5. (intr) (of colours) to look ugly or inharmonious together
  1. a loud harsh noise
  2. a collision or conflict
  3. 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 clashing



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