verb \ˈklench\

: to set (something) in a tightly closed position

: to hold (something) tightly

Full Definition of CLENCH

transitive verb
:  clinch 2
:  to hold fast :  clutch <clenched the arms of the chair>
:  to set or close tightly <clench one's teeth> <clench one's fists>
clench noun

Examples of CLENCH

  1. He clenched his teeth and continued to look straight ahead.
  2. He clenched his fists in anger.
  3. She was angry and spoke quietly through clenched teeth.
  4. His jaw clenched and unclenched as he listened to the speech.
  5. She danced alone, with a rose clenched in her teeth.
  6. He was clenching a cigarette in his teeth.

Origin of CLENCH

Middle English, from Old English -clencan; akin to Old English clingan to cling
First Known Use: 13th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: clench–builtPrevious Word in the Dictionary: ClemmysAll Words Near: clench
May 28, 2015
fictioneer Hear it
someone who writes fiction
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears