\ 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 Same goes for senior Danny Lynch, who had a game-clinching sack. Shawn Mcfarland,, "High school football: Maloney, Southington look reloaded; Berlin will need to find fresh faces to contend, and other takeaways from Week 1," 16 Sep. 2019 At the 2:30 mark, with Campolindo threatening in McClymonds territory, Montrell Smith swooped in for what could’ve been the game-clinching interception. Justice Delos Santos, The Mercury News, "Football: McClymonds rallies in fourth quarter to stun Campolindo," 14 Sep. 2019 Stafford’s biggest problem was trying to throw deep on a critical third and 5 late in the game, which killed what could have been a game-clinching Lions’ drive. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald has 5-star performance against Lions," 8 Sep. 2019 Burns, 69, and Mendez, 63, of Miami, topped twins Gerald Goebel (Jensen Beach) and his brother Thomas (Austin, Texas) 15-5, 15-3 to clinch the 60-Over title in the 2019 50th Florida State Doubles Championships at the David Posnack JCC in Davie. Gary Curreri,, "Racquetball player eyes national title next with son," 5 Sep. 2019 Before that game-clinching drive, Book (10-1 as the starter) had a few things to say to his teammates. Mike Berardino, Indianapolis Star, "Ian Book, Notre Dame survive sloppy opener in 35-17 win over Louisville," 2 Sep. 2019 Phillips came up with two interceptions, including the game-clinching interception that allowed La Habra to run out the clock. Eric Sondheimercolumnist, Los Angeles Times, "Clark Phillips of La Habra, Justin Flowe of Upland put on a show," 22 Aug. 2019 For the 4x400 relay, Montijo teamed up with Ryan Clemens, Bryce Whitaker and Diego Pieragostino to clinch a title in 3:42.18, while Whitaker and Clemens combined with Lucas Weaver and Jaden Baker to win the 4x100 relay in 45.13. Vincent Nguyen, Burbank Leader, "Looking Back: Providence excels amidst challenges in new league," 6 Aug. 2019 Before clinching the World Record title, Harlech had to call in a skilled surveyor to assess Ffordd Pen Llech’s incline. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "This Street in Wales Is Officially the World’s Steepest," 16 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 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

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

27 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for clinch

The first known use of clinch was in 1542

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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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a calculated move

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