Definition of clinch in English:


Syllabification: clinch
Pronunciation: /klinCH


[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; resolve
    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.
    More 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.
    More 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.
    More 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.


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  • 1A struggle or scuffle at close quarters, especially (in boxing) one in which the fighters become too closely engaged for full-arm blows.
    More 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.
    More 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.

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