\ 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
4 : embrace


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

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

The Pirates already clinched the season series, though, and at 34-30 since 2000 are the only National League opponent to have a winning record at China Basin. Henry Schulman,, "Giants’ trip to Dullsville ends in snoozer of a loss to Pirates," 11 Sep. 2019 Premier Giuseppe Conte’s coalition of rival parties clinched the Senate vote on Tuesday with 169 in favor, 133 against. Washington Post, "The Latest: Italy’s new pro-Europe govt wins confidence vote," 10 Sep. 2019 The Dodgers clinched their seventh consecutive National League West title with a 7–3 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards on Tuesday night. Jenna West,, "Dodgers Clinch Seventh Consecutive NL West Title With Win vs. Orioles," 10 Sep. 2019 The Olympic berth was clinched because automatic spots go to the top two World Cup finishers from the Americas region, and the U.S. and Argentina are the lone quarterfinalists out of that group. ... Tim Reynolds, Houston Chronicle, "US tops Brazil to advance to World Cup quarterfinals," 9 Sep. 2019 Turning pups into Bulldogs If the OHSAA gave playoff points for scrimmages, Olmsted Falls might already have clinched a top-eight spot in its region. Matt Goul,, "Olmsted Falls maintains its bite; why Brunswick’s chain has stronger links: HS football quick hits," 9 Sep. 2019 Minnesota has clinched a playoff spot but this is about positioning. Chris Wassel, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Minnesota Lynx at Los Angeles Sparks odds, WNBA picks and best bets," 8 Sep. 2019 Tom Fearn can clinch his second consecutive Late Model championship and third division title overall Friday. Shawn Courchesne,, "Local auto racing preview," 5 Sep. 2019 Ford, could clinch with a repeat winner or a winner who’s already qualified and 54 points. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "Breaking down NASCAR's playoff drivers, from who's in to final clinch scenarios," 4 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Grigoryan kept his clinch, though, and another throw took it back to the ground. Grant Gordon,, "First-round wins by Glendale’s Shahbazyan, Grigoryan highlight ‘Burbank Beatdown’," 22 Apr. 2018 The show keeps staggering toward a romantic clinch, then realizing that loving Elfo would be like returning to the nursery. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "Netflix’s Disenchantment suggests the messy future of princess stories," 22 Aug. 2018 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

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

15 Sep 2019

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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with clinch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clinch

Spanish Central: Translation of clinch

Nglish: Translation of clinch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clinch for Arabic Speakers

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).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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