verb \ˈkləch\

: to hold onto (someone or something) tightly with your hand

: to try to hold onto someone or something by reaching with your hand

Full Definition of CLUTCH

transitive verb
:  to grasp or hold with or as if with the hand or claws usually strongly, tightly, or suddenly
obsolete :  clench
intransitive verb
:  to seek to grasp and hold <clutched at her hand>
:  to operate an automobile clutch

Examples of CLUTCH

  1. I had to clutch the counter to keep from falling.
  2. The child clutched her mother's hand firmly.
  3. He had a book clutched in his hand.

Origin of CLUTCH

Middle English clucchen, from Old English clyccan
First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with CLUTCH



Definition of CLUTCH

a :  the claws or a hand in the act of grasping or seizing firmly
b :  an often cruel or unrelenting control, power, or possession <the fell clutch of circumstance — W. E. Henley>
c :  the act of grasping, holding, or restraining
a :  a coupling used to connect and disconnect a driving and a driven part (as an engine and a transmission) of a mechanism
b :  a lever (as a pedal) operating such a clutch
:  a tight or critical situation :  pinch <come through in the clutch>

First Known Use of CLUTCH

13th century

Other Automotive Terms

articulated, block, choke, diesel, neutral, transmission



: happening during a very important or critical time especially in a sports competition

: able to perform well in a very important or critical situation especially in a sports competition

Full Definition of CLUTCH

:  made or done in a crucial situation <a clutch hit>
:  successful in a crucial situation <a clutch pitcher>

Examples of CLUTCH

  1. She scored a clutch basket.

First Known Use of CLUTCH




Definition of CLUTCH

:  a nest of eggs or a brood of chicks
:  group, bunch

Origin of CLUTCH

alteration of dialect English cletch hatching, brood
First Known Use: 1721

Other Birds Terms

aerie, bunting, covey, hackle, ratite, rictus, ruff, skein, zygodactyl


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Device for quickly and easily connecting or disconnecting a pair of rotatable coaxial shafts. Clutches are usually placed between the driving motor and the input shaft to a machine and provide a convenient means for starting and stopping the machine and permitting the driving motor or engine to be started in an unloaded state (as in an automobile). Mechanical clutches provide either a positive (no-slip) or a friction-dependent drive; centrifugal clutches provide automatic engagement. An overrunning clutch transmits torque in one direction only and permits the driven shaft of a machine to freewheel (continue rotating after the driver stops); on bicycles, such clutches permit the rider to coast without moving the pedals.


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