WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
clutch1 /klʌtʃ/USA pronunciation   v. 
  1. to seize with or as if with the hands;
    hold tightly:[+ object]The little girl clutched her doll tightly.
  2. clutch at, [+ object]
    • to try to grasp or hold:She clutched at my hand as I turned away.
    • to try to use, esp. in a desperate way and when all else fails:I clutched at any excuse I could think of.
  3. Automotive to operate the clutch in a vehicle:[no object]He clutched carefully and pulled out smoothly.

n. [countable]
  1. Often, clutches. [plural] power or control, esp. when escape is impossible: fell into the clutches of the enemy.
  2. a tight grip or hold:Her clutch was strong on my arm.
  3. Automotive, Mechanical Engineering
    • a mechanism for connecting or disconnecting a shaft that drives a mechanism, such as in a car to shift gears:The clutch isn't working properly.
    • , Mechanical Engineeringa pedal or other control for operating this:He pushed in the clutch and released it.

adj. [before a noun]
  1. done in a critical situation: a clutch shot that won the game.
  2. dependable in crucial situations: a clutch player.

clutch2 /klʌtʃ/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. Birdsthe number of eggs produced at one time:a clutch of only three eggs.
  2. a number of similar things.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
clutch1  (kluch),USA pronunciation v.t. 
  1. to seize with or as with the hands or claws;
    snatch:The bird swooped down and clutched its prey with its claws.
  2. to grip or hold tightly or firmly:She clutched the child's hand as they crossed the street.
  3. Slang Termsto spellbind;
    grip a person's emotions, attention, or interest:Garbo movies really clutch me.

  1. to try to seize or grasp (usually fol. by at):He clutched at the fleeing child. She clutched at the opportunity.
  2. Slang Termsto become tense with fright;
    panic (sometimes fol. by up):I clutched up on the math exam.
  3. Automotiveto operate the clutch in a vehicle.

  1. the hand, claw, etc., when grasping.
  2. Usually,  clutches. power of disposal or control;
    mastery:She fell into the clutches of the enemy.
  3. the act of clutching;
    a snatch or grasp.
  4. a tight grip or hold.
  5. a device for gripping something.
  6. Automotive, Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Automotive
    • a mechanism for readily engaging or disengaging a shaft with or from another shaft or rotating part. Cf. coupling (def. 2a).
    • a control, as a pedal, for operating this mechanism.
  7. Sportan extremely important or crucial moment of a game:He was famous for his coolness in pitching in the clutch.
  8. any critical position or situation;
    emergency:She kept complete control in the clutch.
  9. Also called  clutch bag, clutch purse. a woman's small purse that can be carried in the hand and usually has no handle or strap.

  1. done or accomplished in a critical situation:a clutch shot that won the basketball game.
  2. dependable in crucial situations:a clutch player.
  3. (of a coat) without fasteners;
    held closed in front by one's hand or arm.
clutching•ly, adv. 
clutchy, adj. 
  • Middle English clucchen, variant of clicchen, Old English clyccan to clench 1175–1225
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged See  catch. 
    • 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged clench, squeeze, hug.

clutch2  (kluch),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Birdsa hatch of eggs;
    the number of eggs produced or incubated at one time.
  2. Birdsa brood of chickens.
  3. a number of similar individuals:a clutch of books; a whole clutch of dancers.

  1. to hatch (chickens).
  • Old Norse klekja to hatch
  • 1715–25; variant of cletch (now dialect, dialectal); akin to Scots cleck to hatch

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

clutch /klʌtʃ/ vb
  1. (transitive) to seize with or as if with hands or claws
  2. (transitive) to grasp or hold firmly
  3. (intransitive) usually followed by at: to attempt to get hold or possession (of)
  1. a device that enables two revolving shafts to be joined or disconnected as required, esp one that transmits the drive from the engine to the gearbox in a vehicle
  2. a device for holding fast
  3. a firm grasp
  4. a hand, claw, or talon in the act of clutching: in the clutches of a bear
  5. (often plural) power or control: in the clutches of the Mafia
Etymology: Old English clyccan; related to Old Frisian kletsie spear, Swedish klyka clasp, fork
clutch /klʌtʃ/ n
  1. a hatch of eggs laid by a particular bird or laid in a single nest
  2. a brood of chickens
  3. informal a group, bunch, or cluster
  1. (transitive) to hatch (chickens)
Etymology: 17th Century (Northern English dialect) cletch, from Old Norse klekja to hatch

'clutch' also found in these entries:

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