verb (used with object)
to settle (a matter) decisively: After they clinched the deal they went out to celebrate.
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.
to fasten (objects) together by nails, screws, etc., secured in this manner.
Nautical. to fasten by a clinch.
verb (used without object)
Boxing. to engage in a clinch: The boxers clinched and were separated by the referee.
Slang. to embrace, especially passionately.
(of a clinched nail, screw, etc.) to hold fast; be secure.
the act of clinching.
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.
Slang. a passionate embrace.
a clinched nail or fastening.
the bent part of a clinched nail, screw, etc.
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.
Archaic. a pun.
Also, clench (for defs 1–4, 9, 11, 12).

1560–70; later variant of Middle English clench

clinchingly, adverb

clench, clinch.

1. cinch, secure, close, conclude, confirm. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
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
3.  (tr) to settle (something, such as an argument, bargain, etc) in a definite way
4.  (tr) nautical to fasten by means of a clinch
5.  (intr) to engage in a clinch, as in boxing or wrestling
6.  the act of clinching
7.  a.  a nail with its point bent over
 b.  the part of such a nail, etc, that has been bent over
8.  boxing, wrestling an act or an instance in which one or both competitors hold on to the other to avoid punches, regain wind, etc
9.  slang a lovers' embrace
10.  nautical a loop or eye formed in a line by seizing the end to the standing part.
[C16: variant of clench]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1570, "clasp, interlock," var. of clench. The sense of "settle decisively" is first recorded 1716, from the notion of "clinching" the point of a nail to keep it fast. Boxing sense is from 1860.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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