\ ˈklench How to pronounce clench (audio) \
clenched; clenching; clenches

Definition of clench

transitive verb

2 : to hold fast : clutch clenched the arms of the chair
3 : to set or close tightly clench one's teeth clench one's fists

Other Words from clench

clench noun

Synonyms for clench


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Examples of clench in a Sentence

He clenched his teeth and continued to look straight ahead. He clenched his fists in anger. She was angry and spoke quietly through clenched teeth. His jaw clenched and unclenched as he listened to the speech. She danced alone, with a rose clenched in her teeth. He was clenching a cigarette in his teeth. See More
Recent Examples on the Web This step creates a lot of pressure in the entire vaginal area, which doesn’t necessarily feel great for most people but can be particularly uncomfortable or painful for people who feel tense or anxious and clench their muscles. Jessica Toscano, SELF, 26 Apr. 2022 Robbins — a former NFL defensive star who helped the New York Giants clench a 2008 victory in Super Bowl XLII — is associated with the game of football and known for his days playing on the field. Colin Warren-hicks, USA TODAY, 28 Jan. 2022 And people who are feeling stress may unknowingly tense their pelvic floor muscles — similar to people who clench their teeth in response to stress. Washington Post, 12 Feb. 2021 Collin Morikawa then ultimately sank a clutch birdie putt at the 17th hole to earn a half point in his match that ended in a tie, allowing the Americans to clench with still seven matches to go. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 27 Sep. 2021 Fuzzy black-and-brown striped caterpillars clench long strings and inch up race boards. Washington Post, 16 July 2021 Leaders would often clench their fists while arguing that there is such a thing as too much data. Gary Shiffman, Forbes, 16 June 2021 The cards requested us to clench our fists slowly and then unfurl them at the same pace. Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2021 The Ride attraction by adding a 22-foot-tall Indominus dinosaur that can blink her eyes, flex her arms and claws and clench her jaw. Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times, 30 Mar. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clench.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of clench

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for clench

Middle English, from Old English -clencan; akin to Old English clingan to cling

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Time Traveler for clench

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The first known use of clench was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Clench.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for clench


\ ˈklench How to pronounce clench (audio) \
clenched; clenching

Kids Definition of clench

1 : to hold tightly : clutch She clenched a pen in her hand.
2 : to set or close tightly "I'll sit and clench my teeth and never tell you one thing."— Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

More from Merriam-Webster on clench

Nglish: Translation of clench for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clench for Arabic Speakers


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