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Arose from clench in the 16th century.


  • IPA(key): /klɪntʃ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪntʃ


clinch (third-person singular simple present clinches, present participle clinching, simple past and past participle clinched)

  1. To clasp; to interlock. [1560s]
  2. To make certain; to finalize. [1716]
    I already planned to buy the car, but the color was what really clinched it for me.
    • 2011 October 29, Neil Johnston, “Norwich 3 - 3 Blackburn”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Vincent Kompany was sent off after conceding a penalty that was converted by Stephen Hunt to give Wolves hope. But Adam Johnson's curling shot in stoppage time clinched the points.
  3. To fasten securely or permanently.
  4. To bend and hammer the point of (a nail) so it cannot be removed. [17th century]
  5. To embrace passionately.
  6. To hold firmly; to clench.
    • Dryden
      Clinch the pointed spear.
  7. To set closely together; to close tightly.
    to clinch the teeth or the fist
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Jonathan Swift to this entry?)




clinch (plural clinches)

(Sense 6) One wrestler is trying to get the back.
  1. Any of several fastenings.
  2. The act or process of holding fast; that which serves to hold fast; a grip or grasp.
    to get a good clinch of an antagonist, or of a weapon
    to secure anything by a clinch
  3. (obsolete) A pun.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Alexander Pope to this entry?)
  4. (nautical) A hitch or bend by which a rope is made fast to the ring of an anchor, or the breeching of a ship's gun to the ringbolts.
  5. A passionate embrace.
  6. In combat sports, the act of one or both fighters holding onto the other to prevent being hit or engage in standup grappling.


See alsoEdit