Definition of clasp in English:

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Pronunciation: /klasp/


[with object]
1Grasp (something) tightly with one’s hand: he clasped her arm
More example sentences
  • Quickly grabbing her stuff and clasping the key tightly in her hand she ran upstairs and went to the room at the end of the corridor.
  • Cradle it like a small bird or clasp it tightly like a squirming cat.
  • As they tightly clasped the bewildering ballot papers bearing the names of 111 parties across the country, some shed tears of joy, some danced in the streets.
grasp, grip, clutch, hold tightly;
take hold of, seize, grab
1.1Place (one’s arms) around something so as to hold it tightly: Kate’s arms were clasped around her knees
More example sentences
  • One of his arms is clasped around my waist, the other one resting on my shoulder.
  • She clasped her arms around her legs, peering up at the man.
  • She pulled her knees to her chest and clasped her arms around her shins.
1.2Hold (someone) tightly: he clasped Joanne in his arms
More example sentences
  • Shrieking with excitement she hugged her father, clasping him tightly in her thrilled rush.
  • She clasped him tightly to her and jumped off.
  • ‘Yes,’ she whispers, moving forward until she's clasping him in an embrace.
embrace, hug, enfold, fold, envelop;
hold, squeeze
1.3 (clasp one's hands) Press one’s hands together with the fingers interlaced: he lay on his back with his hands clasped behind his head
More example sentences
  • He got down beside me, clasping his hands together behind his neck.
  • She straightened and nodded, clasping her hands together behind her back.
  • She shifted her weight back and forth clasping her hands together behind her back.
2 archaic Fasten (something) with a small device, typically a metal one: one modest emerald clasped her robe
More example sentences
  • A while silk scarf was wrapped around her shoulders, and a jade pendant was clasped around her neck.
  • For posterity I'd clasped the necklace Lily had given me around my neck.
  • But even so I clasped the necklace around my neck and smiled happily.


1A device with interlocking parts used for fastening things together: a handbag with a golden clasp
More example sentences
  • She was short but pretty, her black hair pulled up neatly in a bun and fastened together with clasps made of gold.
  • One of my favorite albums, just barely held together with a gold clasp, is no bigger than my palm.
  • Buttons hadn't been invented in the 5th century so sleeves were held together with elaborate bronze clasps, and at last there was an explanation for the ivory rings.
1.1A silver bar on a medal ribbon, inscribed with the name of the battle at which the wearer was present.
Example sentences
  • The medal features four clasps each bearing the names of battle honours awarded for action at Vittoria, St Sebastian, Nivelle and Nive.
  • A General Service medal with a clasp bearing the campaign's name will be struck.
  • Once engraved, the medals and/or clasps are sent to commanders for presentation.
2 [in singular] An embrace.
Example sentences
  • They were so close their bodies were touching, embraced in a clasp.
  • What is the carefully mussed actor trying to work out exactly, sulking from exotic blonde embrace to manly clasp?
  • I purposely put in all those big words because I hoped while he was figuring them out, I could get out of his very tight clasp.
2.1A grasp or handshake: he took her hand in a firm clasp
More example sentences
  • She grasped his hand in a firm clasp, and he was surprised to find hard calluses on her palm, like those gained off hard work with ship and sword.
  • He accepted her gloved hand to give it a quick and firm clasp.
  • When she moved to walk away, she felt Robert's gentle yet firm clasp enfold her hand.


clasp hands

Shake hands with fervor or affection.
Example sentences
  • He moved to her side and they clasped hands, allowing themselves to shake for just this time.
  • She watches the men clasp hands, again taken aback by a display of obvious affection for her father.
  • Elderly folk emerging from a meeting on the beaches late last month clasped hands and insisted, ‘We are all New Zealanders.’


Middle English: of unknown origin.

Words that rhyme with clasp

gasp, grasp, hasp, rasp

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: clasp

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