clutch

1 [kluhch]
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.
a.
a mechanism for readily engaging or disengaging a shaft with or from another shaft or rotating part. Compare coupling ( def 2a ).
b.
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; Middle English clucchen, variant of clicchen, Old English clyccan to clench

clutchingly, adverb
clutchy, adjective


1. See catch. 2. clench, squeeze, hug.
Dictionary.com Unabridged

clutch

2 [kluhch]
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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Collins
World English Dictionary
clutch1 (klʌtʃ)
 
vb (usually foll by at)
1.  (tr) to seize with or as if with hands or claws
2.  (tr) to grasp or hold firmly
3.  to attempt to get hold or possession (of)
 
n
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 plural) power or control: in the clutches of the Mafia
9.  Also called: clutch bag a handbag without handles
 
[Old English clyccan; related to Old Frisian kletsie spear, Swedish klyka clasp, fork]

clutch2 (klʌtʃ)
 
n
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
 
vb
4.  (tr) to hatch (chickens)
 
[C17 (Northern English dialect) cletch, from Old Norse klekja to hatch]

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

clutch
O.E. clyccan "bring together, bend (the fingers), clench," infl. in meaning by M.E. cloke "a claw." Automotive engine part (n.) is 1814, with the "seizing" sense extended to "coupling for bringing working parts together." Originally of mill-works, first used of motor vehicles 1899.

clutch
of chickens, eggs, 1721, from clekken "to hatch," probably from a Scand. source (cf. O.N. klekja "to hatch").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
Still quite tense and clutching her shirt, but beginning to calm down.
People dashed through the halls, clutching files and papers.
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