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


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