Definition of clinch in English:

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Pronunciation: /klin(t)SH/


[with object]
1Confirm or settle (a contract or bargain): to clinch a business deal
More example sentences
  • After some haggling I clinched the bargain and drove away.
  • After much examination and a few rounds of long meadow, the bargain was clinched for £120 pounds.
  • Analysts say the Lockheed design may have clinched the contract for the company.
secure, settle, conclude, close, pull off, bring off, complete, confirm, seal, finalize
informal sew up, wrap up
1.1Conclusively settle (an argument or debate): these findings clinched the matter
More example sentences
  • At the end of it all, the moral argument that clinches the debate for me is that capital punishment is effectively society's revenge.
  • The argument that clinched the debate, both in Whitby and in Toledo, was the ‘Roman-ness’ and universality of an authoritative tradition.
  • It would be dangerous to view the dossier as having clinched the argument for war.
settle, decide, determine;
informal sort out
1.2Confirm the winning or achievement of (a game, competition, or victory): his team clinched the title
More example sentences
  • The winning golden goal to clinch the match 2-1 in extra time was scored by Ahn Jung-hwan, who plays for Italian team Perugia.
  • Then nippy forward Julianne O'Connell struck with a great goal which clinched victory for her team and a place in the final.
  • Mobbed by joyous teammates, this goal clinched victory for Ilkley from the jaws of defeat.
win, secure;
be victorious, come first, triumph, prevail
1.3Secure (a nail or rivet) by driving the point sideways when it has penetrated.
Example sentences
  • After the shoe is nailed on, bring the foot out in front of the horse and put it on a stand or on your knee so you can clinch the nail.
  • To clinch the nail, it is necessary to hold a heavy metal block against the rib and drive the nail home against this.
1.4Fasten (a rope or fishing line) with a clinch knot.
Example sentences
  • Yeah, the boats weren't clinched down quite tight enough.
  • This will help the knot clinch down properly and keep it from pulling out or breaking from the spool.
2 [no object] Grapple at close quarters, especially (of boxers) so as to be too closely engaged for full-arm blows.
Example sentences
  • He would stay close enough to always clinch as soon as Rahman set to punch.
  • By clinching with Frazier, Ali prevented further damage.
  • Heavyweights throw like one-two-three punches and grab and clinch and grab and clinch.
2.1(Of two people) embrace.


1A struggle or scuffle at close quarters, especially (in boxing) one in which the fighters become too closely engaged for full-arm blows.
Example sentences
  • He looked like he was losing that fight from the way I remember it, slipping to the canvas several times out of clinches.
  • Neither guy tried to make a war out of it and just practiced their moves and showed their professionalism in the clinches.
  • Ortega's best work through the middle of the bout came from manhandling his opponent in clinches.
1.1An embrace, especially an amorous one: we went into a passionate clinch on the sofa
More example sentences
  • Audiences were engrossed by Gilbert and Garbo's off-screen romance after seeing their passionate clinches in The Flesh and the Devil.
  • It would have to be Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr rolling in a passionate clinch on the wet sand in From Here To Eternity.
  • In fact, Derek and his terrified party hadn't stumbled on a poltergeist, but a couple in a passionate clinch who hadn't heard the ghoul-hunting crowd creep up on them.
2A knot used to fasten a rope to a ring or cringle, using a half hitch with the end seized back on its own part.
Example sentences
  • The experienced anglers captured the attention of young boys by showing them fishing techniques, including how to tie the perfect clinch knot.
  • I looked up from the tedious chore of wrapping the improved clinch knot and saw Frazier playing a keeper speckled trout.


Late 16th century (in the senses 'something that grips' and 'fix securely'): variant of clench.

Words that rhyme with clinch

cinch, finch, flinch, inch, lynch, Minch, pinch, squinch, winch

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: clinch

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