- to close or knot up tightly: His hands clenched as he faced his enemy.
- the act of clenching.
- a tight hold; grip.
- something that clenches or holds fast.
- clinch(defs 9, 11, 12).
Origin of clench
SynonymsSee more synonyms for clench on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for clench
You know how you can clench and make all the blood go into your head?Jeff Daniels Defends Aaron Sorkin and the ‘Dumb and Dumber’ Toilet Scene
November 7, 2014
These are the kind of challenges the first gay NFL player will likely have to clench his teeth and push through.Will Today’s Closeted NFL Stars Let Michael Sam Be the First Out Player?
February 10, 2014
You almost wanted him to clench his teeth, slam his fist, kick the lectern—anything to show that he was teed off.Aloof, Even in Defeat
November 3, 2010
It provokes a physical reaction in most of us—we jump up out of our chairs, grab at the air and clench our fists.Heeere's Barack!
March 20, 2009
Then he retreated a few steps further on seeing Silvere clench his fists.
And as Silvere, pale and trembling more than she, began to clench his fists: "Stop!"
She made an impatient movement and he saw her clench the hand that was lying on the table.The Rescue
She had to clench her teeth to keep her lips from trembling.Rim o' the World
B. M. Bower
His hands, busily engaged in buttoning his gloves, did not clench.
- to close or squeeze together (the teeth, a fist, etc) tightly
- to grasp or grip firmly
- a firm grasp or grip
- a device that grasps or grips, such as a clamp
- another word for clinch
Word Origin and History for clench
Old English (be)clencan "to hold fast, make cling," causative of clingan (see cling); cf. stench/stink. Related: Clenched; clenching.
"part of a nail that clinchers," 1590s, from clench (v.). Meaning "a grasp, grip" is from 1779.