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dialectal, chiefly British : a piece of cloth or leather : rag
: a blow especially with the hand
When she was naughty, she would get a clout from her mother.
also : a hard hit in baseball
: a white cloth on a stake or frame used as a target in archery
: pull, influence
political clout
She parlayed her box-office clout to wealth and independenceB. S. Pierre


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clouted; clouting; clouts

transitive verb

: to cover or patch with a clout
clouted his worn-out shoe with a piece of leather
: to hit forcefully
He clouted 19 home runs last year.
He clouted him on the back of the head.

Examples of clout in a Sentence

Noun She used her political clout to have another school built. gave the stubborn handle a solid clout to make it turn Verb He clouted 19 home runs last year. He'll clout me around the head if he finds out what I've done.
Recent Examples on the Web
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Elon Musk used his considerable social media clout to amplify an online mob’s misguided rants accusing the 22-year-old from California of being an undercover agent in a neo-Nazi group. Donie O'Sullivan, CNN, 20 Nov. 2023 The convergence of financial benefit and emotional clout all but guarantees that residential real estate markets will rebound after their recent slump. Miles S. Nadal, Fortune, 20 Nov. 2023 Others said Cameron would bring clout and experience to the role. Karla Adam, Washington Post, 13 Nov. 2023 Consider the growing clout of public-sector unions, which Judis and Teixeira mention only in passing. Heather Wilhelm, National Review, 9 Nov. 2023 Novo using its clout A September study by the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS) suggested the new rules could cause three fewer rare disease drugs to come to market each year. Byryan Hogg, Fortune Europe, 6 Nov. 2023 Other artists are definitely going to try it, if not necessarily successfully — few can match Beyoncé and Swift’s clout. Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone, 22 Oct. 2023 Some have capitalized on this moment to inflame Russia or gain clout by posting video game clips or older images of war recontextualized. Joan Donovan, TIME, 13 Oct. 2023 In a show of its growing clout in the region, China helped broker a deal in March reestablishing diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, longtime bitter foes. Stephanie Yang, Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2023
Rapinoe, her replacement, clouted her kick well above the bar. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Aug. 2023 The home run derby title went to St. Augustine senior first baseman M.J. Sweeney, who clouted six home runs in the first round and seven more in the final round to out-slug Madison senior outfielder Jake Jackson, who had six home runs in the first round but only three in the final. Rick Hoff, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 June 2023 Professional sports leagues and clubs are asked to use their platforms and clout to raise awareness. Darlene Superville, Chicago Tribune, 26 May 2023 The home run reminded folks that Schwarber clouted a Darvish pitch just last October, into Petco Park’s upper deck beyond right field, during the National League Championship Series. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Mar. 2023 After Trump left his office, his allies, with money to make and clout to keep, turned to Saudi Arabia as a business pipeline. New York Times, 27 July 2022 That’s because, despite your plutonium card status, earned by staying across that group’s thousands of properties, advisors have clout with that particular hotel based on regularly booking clients there. Doug Gollan, Forbes, 7 June 2021 The researchers then clout the strontium with a laser that puts the atoms in a superposition state. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, 13 Apr. 2020 Jaxson Weber-Stewart and Jarrett Tjaden clouted back-to-back doubles for the big hits. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, 15 June 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'clout.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Old English clūt; akin to Middle High German klōz lump, Russian gluda

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of clout was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near clout

Cite this Entry

“Clout.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a blow especially with the hand or with a baseball bat
: influence entry 1 sense 1
political clout
clout verb

More from Merriam-Webster on clout

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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