\ ˈklinch \
clinched; clinching; clinches

Definition of clinch 

(Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

2a : to turn over or flatten the protruding pointed end of (a driven nail) also : to treat (a screw, a bolt, a rivet, etc.) in a similar way

b : to fasten in this way

3a : to make final or irrefutable : settle that clinched the argument

b : to assure the winning of scored a touchdown to clinch the game

intransitive verb

1 : to hold an opponent (as in boxing) at close quarters with one or both arms

2 : to hold fast or firmly



Definition of clinch (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a fastening by means of a clinched nail, rivet, or bolt also : the clinched part of a nail, rivet, or bolt

2 archaic : pun

3 : an act or instance of clinching in boxing

4 : embrace


geographical name
\ ˈklinch \

Definition of Clinch (Entry 3 of 3)

river about 300 miles (480 kilometers) long in southwestern Virginia and eastern Tennessee flowing southwest into the Tennessee River

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Other words from clinch


clinchingly \ˈklin-chiŋ-lē \ adverb

Synonyms for clinch

Synonyms: Verb

decide, determine, nail, settle

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Examples of clinch in a Sentence


His home run clinched the victory. The new evidence clinches the case. Her work on the project should clinch her a promotion. The photos of the city have clinched it for me. I have to visit Prague. If they win tonight's game they'll clinch the pennant.


The referee told the boxers to break their clinch.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Croatia, with a 2-0 victory over Nigeria last week and a 3-0 stunner over Argentina on Thursday, has already clinched a spot in the knockout stage. Sean Gregory, Time, "Iceland's Big Loss to Nigeria Just Pushed the World Cup Drama to 11," 22 June 2018 Can his positioning of himself as not a radical candidate, but still a transformative one, actually help him clinch the vote? Maya Averbuch, The New Republic, "What Turns an Outsider Into a President?," 23 May 2018 West Deptford can clinch the Colonial Conference Liberty Division with a victory over rival Haddonfield on Thursday. Phil Anastasia,, "Baseball: Seniors Mike Gismondi and Darren McKeown show the way for West Deptford," 16 May 2018 The Aztecs can clinch a spot in the four-team Mountain West Tournament. Kirk Kenney,, "College baseball weekend: Aztecs host San Jose State; Toreros travel to Portland; Tritons bid for CCAA title," 10 May 2018 The Bianconeri can clinch a record-extending seventh consecutive Serie A title with only a draw against Roma on Sunday. Andrew Dampf,, "Juventus thrash AC Milan to win 4th straight Coppa Italia," 9 May 2018 Trained by Jeremy Noseda, Gronkowski has a 4-1-0 record in six career starts and won the Burradon Stakes on March 30 at Newcastle to clinch an invite to the Run for the Roses via the European Road to the Kentucky Derby. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "Former Kentucky Derby hopeful Gronkowski to resume training next week for Belmont Stakes," 24 Apr. 2018 Looking ahead Monday's game at San Antonio is big for the Spurs, who can clinch a playoff spot. Jason Jones, sacbee, "Is the hype on Harry Giles fair? He's ready to get past this season and live up to it | The Sacramento Bee," 8 Apr. 2018 The Falcons can clinch the No. 1 seed on April 12 at Everglades. David Furones,, "Derek Cabrera's complete game lifts Flanagan over Dwyer," 6 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Nguyen is more active with strikes in the clinch, landing knees and punches. Todd Martin,, "Jussier Formiga vs. Ben Nguyen live round-by-round coverage," 11 Feb. 2018 Breathing heavily to start the third, Punk came forward and immediately moved into the clinch. John Morgan, USA TODAY, "CM Punk falls to Mike Jackson via decision at UFC 225," 9 June 2018 City have the chance to sew up the Premier League title against their bitter rivals at the Etihad Stadium with a win - which would be the earliest clinch in the competition's history., "Pep Guardiola Set to Rest Key Stars Against Man Utd as They Prioritise Crucial UCL Clash," 3 Apr. 2018 Font lands a hard straight right hand shortly thereafter and clinches. Todd Martin,, "Thomas Almeida vs. Rob Font live round-by-round coverage," 21 Jan. 2018 After a little bit at range, Wilkinson goes back to the clinch. Todd Martin,, "Israel Adesanya vs. Rob Wilkinson live round-by-round coverage," 11 Feb. 2018 Brexit, warning their leader, Prime Minister Theresa May, in a public letter not to cave during upcoming clinch negotiations with Brussels. Washington Post, "Theresa May wines and dines her Brexit ‘war cabinet’ in a bid to hash out a policy," 22 Feb. 2018 Quinonez clinches but eats a strong right hand and left hand late. Todd Martin,, "Jose Quinonez vs. Teruto Ishihara live round-by-round coverage," 11 Feb. 2018 Two-time defending 6A champ Duncanville clinches and will go for an 11th championship at the Alamodome. Brian Gosset, star-telegram, "Three things I think, three things I know about high school sports | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 21 Feb. 2018

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

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First Known Use of clinch


1542, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1659, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for clinch


probably alteration of clench

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Statistics for clinch

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for clinch

The first known use of clinch was in 1542

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More Definitions for clinch



English Language Learners Definition of clinch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make (something) certain or final

: to make certain the winning of (something)

: to hold each other closely during a fight



English Language Learners Definition of clinch (Entry 2 of 2)

: a position in which two people (such as two boxers) are holding each other very closely


\ ˈklinch \
clinched; clinching

Kids Definition of clinch

: to show to be certain or true She presented facts that clinched the argument.

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Comments on clinch

What made you want to look up clinch? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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