[ klinch ]
See synonyms for clinch on
verb (used with object)
  1. to settle (a matter) decisively: After they clinched the deal they went out to celebrate.

  2. to secure (a nail, screw, etc.) in position by beating down the protruding point: He drove the nails through the board and clinched the points flat with a hammer.

  1. to fasten (objects) together by nails, screws, etc., secured in this manner.

  2. Nautical. to fasten by a clinch.

verb (used without object)
  1. Boxing. to engage in a clinch: The boxers clinched and were separated by the referee.

  2. Slang. to embrace, especially passionately.

  1. (of a clinched nail, screw, etc.) to hold fast; be secure.

  1. the act of clinching.

  2. Boxing. an act or instance of one or both boxers holding the other about the arms or body in order to prevent or hinder the opponent's punches.

  1. Slang. a passionate embrace.

  2. a clinched nail or fastening.

  3. the bent part of a clinched nail, screw, etc.

  4. a knot or bend in which a bight or eye is made by making a loop or turn in the rope and seizing the end to the standing part.

  5. Archaic. a pun.

Origin of clinch

First recorded in 1560–70; later variant of Middle English clench
  • Also clench (for defs. 1-4, 9, 11, 12).

Other words for clinch

Other words from clinch

  • clinch·ing·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with clinch Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use clinch in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for clinch


/ (klɪntʃ) /

  1. (tr) to secure (a driven nail) by bending the protruding point over

  2. (tr) to hold together in such a manner: to clinch the corners of the frame

  1. (tr) to settle (something, such as an argument, bargain, etc) in a definite way

  2. (tr) nautical to fasten by means of a clinch

  3. (intr) to engage in a clinch, as in boxing or wrestling

  1. the act of clinching

    • a nail with its point bent over

    • the part of such a nail, etc, that has been bent over

  1. boxing wrestling an act or an instance in which one or both competitors hold on to the other to avoid punches, regain wind, etc

  2. slang a lovers' embrace

  3. nautical a loop or eye formed in a line by seizing the end to the standing part.

Origin of clinch

C16: variant of clench
  • Also (for senses 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 10): clench

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