clout

[klout]
noun
1.
a blow, especially with the hand; cuff: The bully gave him a painful clout on the head.
2.
Informal. pull; strong influence; muscle, especially political power: a wealthy campaign contributor with clout at city hall.
3.
Baseball. a long hit, especially an extra-base hit: A hard clout to deep center field drove in the winning run.
4.
Archery.
a.
the mark or target shot at, especially in long-distance shooting.
b.
a shot that hits the mark.
5.
Also called clout nail. a nail for attaching sheet metal to wood, having a short shank with a broad head.
6.
Archaic.
a.
a patch or piece of cloth or other material used to mend something.
b.
any worthless piece of cloth; rag.
c.
an article of clothing (usually used contemptuously).
verb (used with object)
7.
to strike, especially with the hand; cuff.
8.
Archaic.
a.
to bandage.
b.
to patch; mend.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English; Old English clūt piece of cloth or metal; cognate with Middle Low German klūte, Old Norse klūtr

clouter, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
clout (klaʊt)
 
n
1.  informal a blow with the hand or a hard object
2.  power or influence, esp in politics
3.  archery
 a.  the target used in long-distance shooting
 b.  the centre of this target
 c.  a shot that hits the centre
4.  Also called: clout nail a short, flat-headed nail used esp for attaching sheet metal to wood
5.  dialect (Brit)
 a.  a piece of cloth: a dish clout
 b.  a garment
 c.  a patch
 
vb
6.  informal to give a hard blow to, esp with the hand
7.  to patch with a piece of cloth or leather
 
[Old English clūt piece of metal or cloth, clūtian to patch (C14: to strike with the hand); related to Dutch kluit a lump, and to clod]
 
'clouter
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

clout
O.E. clut "lump of something," also "patch of cloth put over a hole to mend it," from P.Gmc. *klutaz. Sense of "a blow" is from early 14c., but the metaphor is obscure. Sense of "personal influence" is 1958.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Faculty should use their collective clout, such as it is, to reduce
  administrative dependence on these ratings.
Many of his original followers are now successful businessmen, and their
  political clout is increasing.
It still wins in economic clout thanks to its huge financial sector.
If clout is the new currency, in other words, it already has its share of
  counterfeiters.
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