- 1(With reference to the fingers or hand) close into a tight ball, especially as a manifestation of extreme anger: [with object]: she clenched her fists, struggling for control [no object]: Ian’s right hand clenched into a fist (as adjective clenched) he struck the wall with his clenched fistMore example sentences
- His eyes danced with anger and he had his fingers clenched into a tight ball.
- His fingers convulsively clenched into fists for an instant before he forced his tense muscles to relax.
- His face twisted into furry and his hands clenched into tight fists.
- 1.1(With reference to the teeth) press or be pressed tightly together, especially with anger or determination or so as to suppress a strong emotion: he clenched his teeth, fighting waves of nauseaMore example sentences
- He said furiously through teeth that were clenched tightly together.
- I could see that his teeth were clenched with suppressed emotion; tears or anger I couldn't tell.
- It's enough to leave you breathless - if you could forget the obsession with an air-giving hose clenched tightly between your teeth.
- 1.2 [with object] Grasp (something) tightly and firmly: he clenched the steering wheel so hard that the car wobbledMore example sentences
- Sarah asked bravely, her hands still firmly clenching Migoto's waist.
- A small, black satchel lay over his left shoulder, and a 4-foot long wooden staff was clenched firmly in his right paw.
- Sitting upright, his knuckles paled as he clenched the bedcover firmly.
- 1.3 [no object] (Of a muscular part of the body) tighten or contract sharply, especially with strong emotion: Mark felt his stomach clench in alarmMore example sentences
- His body is clenching from the pain and his mouth is drooling.
- Still, when she tried to open her eyes, her body clenched in protest.
- My body clenched in anticipation of the bullets that would rip through it.
noun[in singular] Back to top
- A contraction or tightening of part of the body: she saw the anger rise, saw the clench of his fistsMore example sentences
- The creases in her face deepened as his frown turned into a clench.
- It had not helped, even with the burning clench of his muscles or the adrenaline coursing through his body.
- I looked away from Matt as I felt a clench in my chest.
Old English (in the sense of clinch 'fix securely'): of Germanic origin; related to cling.