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clench

[klench] /klɛntʃ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to close (the hands, teeth, etc.) tightly.
2.
to grasp firmly; grip.
3.
clinch (def 1).
4.
clinch (defs 2–4).
verb (used without object)
5.
to close or knot up tightly:
His hands clenched as he faced his enemy.
noun
6.
the act of clenching.
7.
a tight hold; grip.
8.
something that clenches or holds fast.
9.
clinch (defs 9, 11, 12).
Origin
1200-1250
1200-50; Middle English clenchen; compare Old English beclencan hold fast
Can be confused
clench, clinch.
Synonyms
2. clasp, clutch.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for clenching
  • My stomach clenching, heart wrenching, and mind kicking my other organs for getting involved.
  • The teenage driver looks panicked, one hand clutching the steering wheel, the other hand clenching a cell phone.
  • clenching means you tightly clamp your top and bottom teeth together, especially the back teeth.
  • He kept clenching and unclenching his hands from soreness.
  • Back and forth he rocks, clenching his fists, screwing his handsome face into an intense mask.
  • The palm switches are inconspicuous and take advantage of the natural fear response of clenching fists.
  • His left side was partly paralyzed-his hand was strapped to a paddle to prevent the fist from clenching.
  • A-The medical name for grinding, gnashing or clenching teeth tightly during sleep is bruxism.
  • Try this by clenching your jaw, sucking in air through your teeth or inhaling through your nose.
British Dictionary definitions for clenching

clench

/klɛntʃ/
verb (transitive)
1.
to close or squeeze together (the teeth, a fist, etc) tightly
2.
to grasp or grip firmly
noun
3.
a firm grasp or grip
4.
a device that grasps or grips, such as a clamp
noun, verb
5.
another word for clinch
Word Origin
Old English beclencan, related to Old High German klenken to tie, Middle High German klank noose, Dutch klinken rivet
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
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Word Origin and History for clenching

clench

v.

Old English (be)clencan "to hold fast, make cling," causative of clingan (see cling); cf. stench/stink. Related: Clenched; clenching.

n.

"part of a nail that clinchers," 1590s, from clench (v.). Meaning "a grasp, grip" is from 1779.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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17
22
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