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clutch1

[kluhch] /klʌtʃ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to seize with or as with the hands or claws; snatch:
The bird swooped down and clutched its prey with its claws.
2.
to grip or hold tightly or firmly:
She clutched the child's hand as they crossed the street.
3.
Slang. to spellbind; grip a person's emotions, attention, or interest:
Garbo movies really clutch me.
verb (used without object)
4.
to try to seize or grasp (usually followed by at):
He clutched at the fleeing child. She clutched at the opportunity.
5.
Slang. to become tense with fright; panic (sometimes followed by up):
I clutched up on the math exam.
6.
to operate the clutch in a vehicle.
noun
7.
the hand, claw, etc., when grasping.
8.
Usually, clutches. power of disposal or control; mastery:
She fell into the clutches of the enemy.
9.
the act of clutching; a snatch or grasp.
10.
a tight grip or hold.
11.
a device for gripping something.
12.
Automotive, Machinery.
  1. a mechanism for readily engaging or disengaging a shaft with or from another shaft or rotating part.
    Compare coupling (def 2a).
  2. a control, as a pedal, for operating this mechanism.
13.
Sports. an extremely important or crucial moment of a game:
He was famous for his coolness in pitching in the clutch.
14.
any critical position or situation; emergency:
She kept complete control in the clutch.
15.
Also called clutch bag, clutch purse. a woman's small purse that can be carried in the hand and usually has no handle or strap.
adjective
16.
done or accomplished in a critical situation:
a clutch shot that won the basketball game.
17.
dependable in crucial situations:
a clutch player.
18.
(of a coat) without fasteners; held closed in front by one's hand or arm.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English clucchen, variant of clicchen, Old English clyccan to clench
Related forms
clutchingly, adverb
clutchy, adjective
Synonyms
1. See catch. 2. clench, squeeze, hug.

clutch2

[kluhch] /klʌtʃ/
noun
1.
a hatch of eggs; the number of eggs produced or incubated at one time.
2.
a brood of chickens.
3.
a number of similar individuals:
a clutch of books; a whole clutch of dancers.
verb (used with object)
4.
to hatch (chickens).
Origin
1715-25; variant of cletch (now dial.); akin to Scots cleck to hatch < Old Norse klekja to hatch
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for clutching
  • He told them a few stories about the damage and hiding in a bathtub, clutching his dissertation, and they all signed off on it.
  • They faith-heal the sick by clutching the ailing area of the body and praying silently to the heavens, casting out demons.
  • Then as he ran he remembered his children and in fancy felt their hands clutching at him.
  • Still quite tense and clutching her shirt, but beginning to calm down.
  • People dashed through the halls, clutching files and papers.
  • Most people are clutching plastic flags on white sticks.
  • Other years find the anti-whalers creeping forward on their bellies, clutching green flags of conservation and environmentalism.
  • At the styling dome, six subordinates awaited him, two clutching clipboards and pencils.
  • Brides with rhinestone clips in their hair, brides clutching roses and brides in antebellum white gowns with ballooning skirts.
  • Toward the end, he was clutching the lectern with both hands, and it looked as if he might fall if he let go.
British Dictionary definitions for clutching

clutch1

/klʌtʃ/
verb
1.
(transitive) to seize with or as if with hands or claws
2.
(transitive) to grasp or hold firmly
3.
(intransitive) usually foll by at. to attempt to get hold or possession (of)
noun
4.
a device that enables two revolving shafts to be joined or disconnected as required, esp one that transmits the drive from the engine to the gearbox in a vehicle
5.
a device for holding fast
6.
a firm grasp
7.
a hand, claw, or talon in the act of clutching: in the clutches of a bear
8.
(often pl) power or control: in the clutches of the Mafia
9.
Also called clutch bag. a handbag without handles
Word Origin
Old English clyccan; related to Old Frisian kletsie spear, Swedish klyka clasp, fork

clutch2

/klʌtʃ/
noun
1.
a hatch of eggs laid by a particular bird or laid in a single nest
2.
a brood of chickens
3.
(informal) a group, bunch, or cluster
verb
4.
(transitive) to hatch (chickens)
Word Origin
C17 (Northern English dialect) cletch, from Old Norse klekja to hatch
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 clutching

clutch

v.

Old English clyccan "bring together, bend (the fingers), clench," from PIE *klukja- (cf. Swedish klyka "clamp, fork;" related to cling). Meaning "to grasp" is early 14c.; that of "to seize with the claws or clutches" is from late 14c. Sense of "hold tightly and close" is from c.1600. Influenced in meaning by Middle English cloke "a claw." Related: Clutched; clutching.

n.

"a claw, grip, grasp," c.1300, from cloche "claw," from cloke (c.1200), related to clucchen, clicchen (see clutch (v.)). Meaning "grasping hand" (1520s) led to that of "tight grasp" (1784). Related: Clutches.

movable mechanical part for transmitting motion, 1814, from clutch (v.), with the "seizing" sense extended to "device for bringing working parts together." Originally of mill-works, first used of motor vehicles 1899. Meaning "moment when heroics are required" is attested from 1920s.

"a brood, a nest" in reference to chickens, eggs, 1721, from clekken "to hatch" (c.1400). Said by OED to be apparently a southern England dialect word. Cf. batch/bake. Probably from a Scandinavian source (e.g. Old Norse klekja "to hatch"), perhaps of imitative origin (cf. cluck (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for clutching

clutching

Related Terms

double-clutching


clutch

modifier

done or accomplished in a critical situation: a clutch hitter/ clutch play

noun
  1. An embrace; clinch (1950s+)
  2. group;bunch: aclutch of drunken sailors (1908+)
  3. customer who does not tip, or tips too little; stiff (1950s+ Restaurant)
verb

(also clutch up) To panic; be seized with anxiety: If that's what's got you clutched up, don't worry about it (1950s+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with clutching
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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