[klas-ping, klah-sping]


(of a leaf) partly or wholly surrounding the stem.

Origin of clasping

First recorded in 1870–75; clasp + -ing2


[klasp, klahsp]


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.
a firm grasp or grip: a clasp of hands.
a tight embrace: She held the child in a loving clasp.
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.

verb (used with object), clasped or (Archaic) claspt [klaspt, klahspt] /klæspt, klɑspt/; clasping.

to fasten with or as with a clasp.
to furnish with a clasp.
to seize, grasp, or grip with the hand: She clasped the club in her hand.
to hold in a tight embrace; hug: He clasped the child to him.

verb (used without object), clasped or (Archaic) claspt [klaspt, klahspt] /klæspt, klɑspt/; clasping.

to embrace or hug: The lovers clasped.

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 for clasp

1. brooch, pin, clip, hook, catch. 3. hug. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for clasping

Contemporary Examples of clasping

Historical Examples of clasping

  • Dick had no scruple in clasping that extended hand very warmly in his own.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Yates hastened to meet her, clasping one of her unresisting hands in his.

  • So she ran and sat down behind her husband, clasping him round the waist.

  • "Oh, my dear," she said, clasping the novel with one hand while she embraced him with the other.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • "Thou hast slain the monster," cried Ariadne, clasping her hands.

    Tanglewood Tales

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

British Dictionary definitions for clasping



a fastening, such as a catch or hook, used for holding things together
a firm grasp, hold, or embrace
military a bar or insignia on a medal ribbon, to indicate either a second award or the battle, campaign, or reason for its award

verb (tr)

to hold in a firm grasp
to grasp firmly with the hand
to fasten together with or as if with a clasp
Derived Formsclasper, noun

Word Origin for clasp

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 clasping



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)).



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

clasping in Medicine




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