clinch

1 of 2

verb

clinched; clinching; clinches

transitive verb

1
2
a
: 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
3
a
: 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
clinchingly adverb

clinch

2 of 2

noun

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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Her efforts helped American clinch its first league title since 1991. Joseph Dycus, The Mercury News, 12 Feb. 2024 After both players birdied the first replay of the final hole, only Taylor could repeat the feat at the subsequent try, sinking his third successive birdie on the 18th green in the space of an hour to clinch his fourth PGA Tour title and $1.58 million in prize money. Jack Bantock, CNN, 12 Feb. 2024 Curacao The Curacao Suns clinched their spot in the semifinals with a gutsy 2-0 win over Puerto Rico on Wednesday to go 3-3. Jordan McPherson, Miami Herald, 8 Feb. 2024 When the 49ers clinched their spot in the 2024 Super Bowl, Searight was in the stadium to celebrate and later posted photos of the moment on Instagram. Ariana Quihuiz, Peoplemag, 7 Feb. 2024 Brown gave Clinton a few scary moments, too, including defeating Clinton in Connecticut's March 24 primary and pushing Clinton in New York's April 7 primary (Clinton finally clinched a delegate majority in early June). Geoffrey Skelley, ABC News, 31 Jan. 2024 Hurts likely wouldn’t have played had the Eagles beaten either Dallas or New Orleans in each of the last games and clinched the No. 1 seed. David Ammenheuser, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 30 Jan. 2024 Whelan clinched victory on Squid Games: The Challenge after a final game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with her fellow competitor Phill Cain. Esther Kang, Peoplemag, 31 Jan. 2024 Etiwanda 82, Los Osos 48: The Eagles clinched another Baseline League championship and continued on a collision course with Sierra Canyon to meet in the Open Division playoffs. Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times, 31 Jan. 2024
Noun
For what struck me most about the Ferrante novel was how those feelings of intense, self-lacerating jealousy coexisted with deep love; the girls love and uphold each other, like boxers resting in a moment of clinch. Mary Gaitskill, The New Yorker, 5 Feb. 2024 South Carroll field hockey clinches return to state title after defeating Patuxent in thriller. Timothy Dashiell, Baltimore Sun, 2 Jan. 2024 Knots like the improved clinch and uni are quick to tie, as is the Palomar knot, which is regarded as one of the strongest fishing knots ever created. Joe Cermele, Outdoor Life, 18 Oct. 2023 Even during our coffee, Lane was unable to describe an emotional clinch with the sewer creatures without bursting into laughter. Kyle Buchanan, New York Times, 4 Oct. 2023 The hanging jumper from the foul line over Craig Ehlo at the buzzer in Game 5 clinches the first-round series for the Bulls. Kori Rumore, Chicago Tribune, 16 Feb. 2023 Thankfully, Alek Keshishian isn’t rushing to go any such place in the final clinch; her further recovery will be a series of subtle adjustments, it’s suggested, rather than any savior in a white coat or sudden deus-ex-machine sense of redemptive self-worth. Chris Willman, Variety, 2 Nov. 2022 The clinch cover embraced design excess and its roots in pulp illustration. Hazlitt, 8 Feb. 2023 McClellan got the starting nod in a similar situation against Minnesota on Feb. 11 and delivered 32 saves in a 3-1 win that delayed the Gophers' clinch of the Big Ten title. Mark Stewart, Journal Sentinel, 2 Mar. 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb

probably alteration of clench

First Known Use

Verb

1542, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1659, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of clinch was in 1542

Dictionary Entries Near clinch

Cite this Entry

“Clinch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/clinch. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

clinch

1 of 2 verb
1
a
: to turn over or flatten the end of something sticking out
clinch a nail
b
: to fasten by clinching
2
a
: to make final : settle
the evidence clinched the case
b
: to assure the winning of
a touchdown that clinched the game

clinch

2 of 2 noun
1
: a fastening by means of a clinched nail, rivet, or bolt
2
: the clinched part of a nail, bolt, or rivet

Geographical Definition

Clinch

geographical name

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

More from Merriam-Webster on clinch

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!