\ ˈklinch How to pronounce clinch (audio) \
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


geographical name
\ ˈklinch How to pronounce Clinch (audio) \

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 How to pronounce clinchingly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for clinch

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of clinch in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun The referee told the boxers to break their clinch.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For a couple whose relationship is predicated on sequences of closeness and withdrawal, what clinches their happiness needs to be as outsized as their personas. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Hot Stuff: Five new romances tackle the struggle to feel deserving of love," 3 Dec. 2019 In Anti-government protestors prevailed on Sunday after polls closed in Hong Kong and pro-democracy candidates clinched nearly half of the seats on the ballot. Fox News, "Hong Kong elections seen as win for pro-democracy candidates after massive turnout," 25 Nov. 2019 The Wildcats were down 21 points on two separate occasions before clinching the victory when Wilson missed a potential game-winning field goal. Staff Report, Orange County Register, "VOTE: Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week (Nov. 22)," 19 Nov. 2019 Liechty scored two more goals Wednesday night as the Sailors edged Huntington Beach 9-8 at Corona del Mar High, clinching at least a share of their second straight Surf League crown. Matt Szabo, Daily Pilot, "High School Male Athlete of the Week: Eli Liechty quickly emerging for Newport Harbor water polo," 19 Oct. 2019 Newcomer Theo Germaine delivers a scene-stealing performance as Payton's ride-or-die campaign manager, who, like Stamper, will stop at nothing to clinch Payton's success. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "Theo Germaine as James in 'The Politician' Is Low-Key Brilliant," 30 Sep. 2019 Spitzer spotted 63 candidate galaxies, but the scope lacked the spatial resolution to clinch the identifications. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Galaxy hunters spot hidden giants in the early universe," 7 Aug. 2019 Later, Tibbits reached the final hole, needing to make a four-footer for par to clinch an Open berth., "Oregon State’s Spencer Tibbits at Pebble Beach U.S. Open: I’m going to do my best to take them down," 11 June 2019 Flash back to the clinching basket of GSW’s Game 2 victory made by Andre Iguodala. Courtney Shea,, "How To Become A Raptors Superfan (In 5 Minutes Or Less)," 5 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With about 40 seconds left in the third round, Tyson bit a chunk off Holyfield’s right ear during a clinch and spit it onto the canvas. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Alabama 200: State’s sports history littered with amazing, memorable moments," 27 Nov. 2019 Auto racing Hemric clinches pole for NASCAR race Daniel Hemric gave his hopes of landing a Cup Series ride for next season some help by taking his No., "Kelechi Osemele," 20 Oct. 2019 Tuesday, the appetizer was consumed, the earliest clinch since their division domination commenced in 2013. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Los Angeles Dodgers clinch seventh consecutive NL West title with weeks to spare," 6 Sep. 2019 At 102 wins, the Yankees are still vying for ultimate home field advantage with the Houston Astros (who also have 102 wins), so competitive fire may sober out any clinch-day hangovers. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "How the Athletics’, Rays’ and Indians’ schedules impact the wild-card race," 23 Sep. 2019 Cormier was getting the best of it, using hand fighting and clinches to bloody up Miocic’s face. Troy L. Smith,, "Stipe Miocic TKO’s Daniel Cormier at UFC 241, regains UFC title," 18 Aug. 2019 Assuncao clinches and looks to take Sandhagen down. Todd Martin, Los Angeles Times, "UFC 241 live updates: Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic," 17 Aug. 2019 Allen clinches and takes Melendez down a minute in. Todd Martin,, "UFC 239: Jon Jones defeats Thiago Santos; Nunes stops Holm," 6 July 2019 Kianzad had some success in the clinch and opened up a cut by the eye of Avila. Todd Martin,, "UFC 239: Jon Jones defeats Thiago Santos; Nunes stops Holm," 6 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for clinch

Time Traveler

The first known use of clinch was in 1542

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Statistics for clinch

Last Updated

8 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Clinch.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for clinch


How to pronounce Clinch (audio)

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 How to pronounce clinch (audio) \
clinched; clinching

Kids Definition of clinch

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on clinch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clinch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with clinch

Spanish Central: Translation of clinch

Nglish: Translation of clinch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clinch for Arabic Speakers

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heavy with or as if with moisture

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