Definition of clash in English:

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Pronunciation: /klaSH/


1A violent confrontation: there have been minor clashes with security forces
More example sentences
  • Over the past couple of months hundreds of thousands of protestors have dominated the country's capital, resulting in a series of violent clashes with police and brutal arrests.
  • Fifteen pro-hunting demonstrators were being held in custody today following yesterday's violent clashes with police outside Parliament, police said.
  • Four men have been arrested following violent clashes with police in a disturbance in Huddersfield during which a council building was damaged by a blazing car.
confrontation, skirmish, fight, battle, engagement, encounter, conflict
1.1An incompatibility leading to disagreement: a personality clash
More example sentences
  • And indeed, for the first few days the clash of personalities and cultures can be terrifying.
  • Have you noticed recent personality clashes, suddenly overly-friendly colleagues, or small huddled groups round water coolers who stop talking as you approach?
  • The convoy itself encountered numerous difficulties; mechanical and logistical problems were compounded by stormy clashes of personality.
argument, altercation, confrontation, shouting match;
contretemps, quarrel, disagreement, dispute, run-in
vulgar slang shitstorm
2A mismatch of colors: a clash of tweeds and a striped shirt
More example sentences
  • Gone are the stylish wedding planners who once plucked out the excess baby's breath and saved you from unforeseen colour clashes.
  • In France people need permission to paint buildings a particular colour in an effort to avoid a clash of colour in a street.
  • He spilled a can of green paint across terracotta tiles - what a horrendous clash of colours.
mismatch, discordance, discord, lack of harmony
2.1An inconvenient coincidence of the timing of events or activities: it is hoped that clashes of dates will be avoided
More example sentences
  • Because the site was so fully booked, the date could not be shifted to avoid a clash with the Boston event.
  • He said the club had considered the York City Knights when planning the event to avoid a clash with the rugby league club's big home game with Keighley.
  • The Olympic champion could well have won four titles if she had not chosen to drop out of the 100 butterfly to avoid a clash of events.
3A loud jarring sound made by or resembling that made by metal objects being struck together: a clash of cymbals
More example sentences
  • I was just starting to get back to normal when there was a loud clash of cymbals next door followed by the ‘Pom, Pom, Pom, Pom’ of a large lass playing the tuba.
  • Before the elf could answer, however, there was a loud roar of anger, a terrifying clash of metal, and a feminine scream.
  • The clash of metal echoed throughout the castle.
striking, bang, clang, crash


1 [no object] Meet and come into violent conflict: protesters demanding self-rule clashed with police
More example sentences
  • A demonstration turned violent when police clashed with protesters after the rally had all but dispersed.
  • The violence began when police clashed with some 2,000 demonstrators who were demanding the release of six people earlier detained by police.
  • The annual May Day demonstrations got off to a violent start overnight when police clashed with protestors in Berlin and the northern city of Hamburg.
fight, skirmish, contend, come to blows, come into conflict;
do battle
1.1Have a forceful disagreement: Clarke has frequently clashed with his colleagues
More example sentences
  • This dispute is not the first time Marie has clashed with the council.
  • But Phillips disagreed and the two clashed over finance.
  • Each works in their own way to fight the corporate media system and its government control, eventually clashing over their differing methods of protest.
disagree, differ, wrangle, dispute, cross swords, lock horns, be at loggerheads
1.2Be incompatible or at odds: his thriftiness clashed with Ross’s largesse
More example sentences
  • The advice that women use barrier contraception clashed with the hospital's ethos, although the leaflet did say abstinence was acceptable.
  • However, his older brother, Anthony, has his own ideas about how to spend the money and their polar opposite fiscal philosphies eventually clash.
  • Tempers have flared as the newcomers' habits have clashed with local customs.
2 [no object] (Of colors) appear discordant or ugly when placed close to each other: (as adjective clashing) suits in clashing colors
More example sentences
  • The explosions blossomed in the night sky, the colors continuing to clash against each other.
  • She used to love being outdoors, and she used to always wear bright, if sometimes clashing, colours.
  • The floor under Cecil's feet was tiled, colours merging and clashing in a dazzling display.
be incompatible, not match, not go, be discordant
2.1Inconveniently occur at the same time: the date of the wedding clashes with Sean’s graduation
More example sentences
  • The gig clashes with the England-France match.
  • Broadcasters have already warned that fair coverage of a referendum would be impossible if it clashes with the May elections, and some ministers fear it could lead to a legal challenge in the courts.
  • Organisers of a popular fireworks display which clashes with England's crucial football game in Turkey this Saturday are hoping the big match action does not deter the crowds.
3 [with object] Strike (cymbals) together, producing a loud discordant sound.
Example sentences
  • The sound of there swords clashing together seemed to echo.
  • The sound of metal clashing together alerted the group and the knights ran to her aid along with everybody else.
  • Their weapons clashed as they met in the middle of the room.
bang, strike, clang, crash





Early 16th century: imitative.

Words that rhyme with clash

abash, ash, Ashe, bash, brash, cache, calash, cash, crash, dash, encash, flash, gnash, hash, lash, mash, Nash, panache, pash, plash, rash, sash, slash, smash, soutache, splash, stash, thrash, trash

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: clash

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