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clasp

[klasp, klahsp]
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noun
  1. 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.
  2. a firm grasp or grip: a clasp of hands.
  3. a tight embrace: She held the child in a loving clasp.
  4. 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.
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verb (used with object), clasped or (Archaic) claspt [klaspt, klahspt] /klæspt, klɑspt/; clasping.
  1. to fasten with or as with a clasp.
  2. to furnish with a clasp.
  3. to seize, grasp, or grip with the hand: She clasped the club in her hand.
  4. to hold in a tight embrace; hug: He clasped the child to him.
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verb (used without object), clasped or (Archaic) claspt [klaspt, klahspt] /klæspt, klɑspt/; clasping.
  1. to embrace or hug: The lovers clasped.
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Origin of clasp

1275–1325; Middle English clasp (noun), claspen (v.), perhaps blend of clippen clip2 and haspe hasp
Related formsin·ter·clasp, verb (used with object)re·clasp, verb (used with object)

Synonyms

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1. brooch, pin, clip, hook, catch. 3. hug.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

graspclutchclampfastengriphugclippinsnapbuckleclinchbroochhaspfasteninggrappleembraceclenchcatchholdhook

Examples from the Web for clasp

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • She swayed a little, so that the officer tightened his clasp on her wrist.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • So vigorous was her movement that Cassidy's clasp was thrown off the wrist.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • He received the medal and clasp, Khedive's star and the 3rd class of the Medjidie.

  • She struggled weakly to free herself, and his clasp only tightened jealously.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • She looked from one to the other, and all she could do was to clasp her hands and smile.


British Dictionary definitions for clasp

clasp

noun
  1. a fastening, such as a catch or hook, used for holding things together
  2. a firm grasp, hold, or embrace
  3. military a bar or insignia on a medal ribbon, to indicate either a second award or the battle, campaign, or reason for its award
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verb (tr)
  1. to hold in a firm grasp
  2. to grasp firmly with the hand
  3. to fasten together with or as if with a clasp
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Derived Formsclasper, 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

Word Origin and History for clasp

n.

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)).

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v.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

clasp in Medicine

clasp

(klăsp)
n.
  1. A part of a removable partial denture that directly retains or stabilizes a denture.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.