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EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Old English clūt, from Proto-Germanic *klūtaz, from Proto-Indo-European *glūdos. Cognate with Old Norse klútr (kerchief)[1] (Swedish klut, Danish klud), Middle High German klōz (lump) (German Kloß), dialect Russian глуда (gluda)[2]. See also cleat. The sense "influence, especially political" originated in the dialect of Chicago, but has become widespread.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

clout (plural clouts)

  1. Influence or effectiveness, especially political.
    • 2011 December 15, Felicity Cloake, “How to cook the perfect nut roast”, in Guardian[1]:
      The chopped mushrooms add depth to both the Waitrose and the Go-Go Vegan recipe, but what gives the latter some real clout on the flavour front is a teaspoon of Marmite.
  2. (regional, informal) A blow with the hand.
    • 1910, Katherine Mansfield, Frau Brenchenmacher Attends A Wedding
      ‘Such a clout on the ear as you gave me… But I soon taught you.’
  3. (informal) A home run.
    • 2011, Michael Vega, "Triple double", in The Boston Globe, August 17, 2011, p. C1.
      '... allowed Boston to score all of its runs on homers, including a pair of clouts by Jacoby Ellsbury ...'
  4. (archery) The center of the butt at which archers shoot; probably once a piece of white cloth or a nail head.
  5. (regional, dated) A swaddling cloth.
  6. (archaic) A cloth; a piece of cloth or leather; a patch; a rag.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, London: William Ponsonbie, Book 1, Canto 9, p. 129,[3]
      His garment nought but many ragged clouts,
      With thornes together pind and patched was,
      The which his naked sides he wrapt abouts;
    • c. 1600 William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act II, Scene 2,[4]
      [] a clout upon that head
      Where late the diadem stood []
    • 1743, Robert Drury, The Pleasant, and Surprizing Adventures of Mr. Robert Drury, during his Fifteen Years Captivity on the Island of Madagascar, London, p. 74,[5]
      We condol’d with each other, and observ’d how wretchedly we look’d, all naked, except a small Clout about our Middles []
    • 1980, Colin Thubron, Seafarers: The Venetians, page 33:
      The Byzantines, wrote Robert of Clari, hooted and jeered from the battlements, "and let down their clouts and showed them their backsides."
  7. (archaic) An iron plate on an axletree or other wood to keep it from wearing; a washer.
    • 1866, James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, volume 1, page 546:
      Clouts were thin and flat pieces of iron, used it appears to strengthen the box of the wheel; perhaps also for nailing on such other parts of the cart as were particularly exposed to wear.
  8. (obsolete) A piece; a fragment.
    • c. 1390s, Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, “The Merchant’s Tale,” lines 707-709, in The Poetical Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, London: Bell & Daldy, 1866, Volume 2, p. 339,[6]
      And whan sche of this bille hath taken heede,
      Sche rente it al to cloutes atte laste
      And into the privy softely it caste.

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

clout (third-person singular simple present clouts, present participle clouting, simple past and past participle clouted)

  1. To hit, especially with the fist.
  2. To cover with cloth, leather, or other material; to bandage, patch, or mend with a clout.
    • Latimer
      Paul, yea, and Peter, too, had more skill in [] clouting an old tent than to teach lawyers.
  3. To stud with nails, as a timber, or a boot sole.
  4. To guard with an iron plate, as an axletree.
  5. To join or patch clumsily.
    • P. Fletcher
      if fond Bavius vent his clouted song

TranslationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ clout in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  2. ^ clout in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary