verb (used with or without object)

to open or become opened from a clenched state.

Also un·clinch [uhn-klinch] /ʌnˈklɪntʃ/.

Origin of unclench

First recorded in 1300–50, unclench is from the Middle English word unclenchen. See un-2, clench
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unclench

Contemporary Examples of unclench

  • Which means the bosses in Tehran will have to unclench their fists and make some face-saving gestures back toward President Obama.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Hillary's Tricky Iran Game

    Leslie H. Gelb

    June 13, 2009

  • That was a brilliant line about how we will extend a hand to those who unclench their fists.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Grading the Obama Speech

    Christopher Buckley

    January 20, 2009

  • The phrase was "we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist"-to say that we will get along.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Daily Beast D.C. Diary

    The Daily Beast

    January 19, 2009

Historical Examples of unclench

  • He tries to draw it back, but it is clenched, and he has not the wisdom to unclench it.


    Samuel Smiles

  • Tug as he would at the old man's wrists, the hangman could not force him to unclench his hands.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

  • Nor did he unclench his hands during all the time they sang.

  • But his fists would clench and unclench as he stared up at the visi-screen.

    Hawk Carse

    Anthony Gilmore

  • She saw his nostrils dilate and his fists clench and unclench.

    H. R.

    Edwin Lefevre