verb (used with object), clipped, clipped or clipt, clip·ping.

verb (used without object), clipped, clipped or clipt, clip·ping.


Origin of clip

1150–1200; Middle English clippen < Old Norse klippa to clip, cut
Related formsclip·pa·ble, adjective




a device that grips and holds tightly.
a metal or plastic clasp for holding together papers, letters, etc.
an article of jewelry or other decoration clipped onto clothing, shoes, hats, etc.
a flange on the upper surface of a horseshoe.
Also called lug. Shipbuilding. a short length of angle iron connecting and maintaining the angle between two members or surfaces.
Archaic. an embrace.

verb (used with or without object), clipped, clip·ping.

to grip tightly; fasten with or as if with a clip.
to encircle; encompass.
Football. to block by illegally throwing the body across a player's legs from behind.
Archaic. to embrace or hug.

Origin of clip

before 900; Middle English clippen, Old English clyppan to embrace, surround; cognate with Old Frisian kleppa Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for clip

Contemporary Examples of clip

Historical Examples of clip

  • If I should be caught and brought back, they'd clip my wings and brand me for life.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • All the mathematics 56 she needs is enough to count her sheep and figure her clip.

  • He felt the clip board being pushed into his hand, then glanced down.


    Frank M. Robinson

  • When I hooked him he started out to sea at a clip that smoked the line off my reel.

  • It's been comin' his way ever since he was big enough to clip a coupon.

    Shorty McCabe

    Sewell Ford

British Dictionary definitions for clip



verb clips, clipping or clipped (mainly tr)

(also intr) to cut, snip, or trim with or as if with scissors or shears, esp in order to shorten or remove a part
British to punch (a hole) in something, esp a ticket
to curtail or cut short
to move a short section from (a film, etc)
to shorten (a word)
(intr) to trot or move rapidly, esp over a long distancea horse clipping along the road
informal to strike with a sharp, often slanting, blow
slang to obtain (money) by deception or cheating
US slang to murder; execute
clip someone's wings
  1. to restrict someone's freedom
  2. to thwart someone's ambition


the act or process of clipping
something clipped off
an extract from a film, newspaper, etc
informal a sharp, often slanting, blow
informal speeda rapid clip
Australian and NZ the total quantity of wool shorn, as in one place, season, etc
another word for clipped form
Derived Formsclippable, adjective

Word Origin for clip

C12: from Old Norse klippa to cut; related to Low German klippen




any of various small implements used to hold loose articles together or to attach one article to another
an article of jewellery that can be clipped onto a dress, hat, etc
the pointed flange on a horseshoe that secures it to the front part of the hoof

verb clips, clipping or clipped (tr)

to hold together tightly, as with a clip
archaic, or dialect to embrace

Word Origin for clip

Old English clyppan to embrace; related to Old Frisian kleppa, Lithuanian glebiu
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 clip

"to cut or sever with a sharp instrument," c.1200, from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse klippa, Swedish klippa, Danish klippe "clip, shear, cut") probably echoic. Related: Clipped; clipping.

Meaning "to pronounce short" is from 1520s. The verb has a long association with shady activities, originally especially in reference to cutting or shaving metal from coins (c.1400), but later extended to swindles from the sense "to shear sheep," hence clip-joint "place that overcharges outrageously" (1933, American English, a term from Prohibition). To clip (someone's) wings figuratively (1590s) is from the method of preventing a captive bird from flying.


"fasten, hold together by pressure," also (mostly archaic) "to embrace," from Old English clyppan "to embrace, clasp; surround; prize, honor, cherish;" related to Old Frisian kleppa "to embrace, love," Old High German klaftra, German klafter "fathom" (on notion of outstretched arms). Also cf. Lithuanian glebys "armful," globiu "to embrace, support." Meaning "to fasten, bind" is early 14c. Meaning "to fasten with clips" is from 1902. Related: Clipped; clipping. Original sense of the verb is preserved in U.S. football clipping penalty.


"something for attaching or holding," mid-14c., probably from clip (v.2). Meaning "receptacle containing several cartridges for a repeating firearm" is from 1901. Meaning "piece of jewelry fastened by a clip" is from 1937. This is also the source of paper clip (1854). Old English had clypp "an embrace."


mid-15c., "shears," from clip (v.1). Meaning "act of clipping" is from 1825, originally of sheep-shearing, later of haircuts. Meaning "rate of speed" is 1867 (cf. clipper). Meaning "an extract from a movie" is from 1958.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

clip in Medicine




A fastener used in surgery to hold skin or other tissue in position or to control hemorrhage.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.