- 1 • informal A heavy blow with the hand or a hard object: a clout on the earMore example sentences
- The cat bounced out of the carrier, fetched his companion a good clout round the ears, and made off to his bowl where he sat, waiting with no patience at all for his delayed breakfast.
- He had no idea what the fuss was about but fetched her a good clout round the ear just to be sure.
- To my dismay, one small box of carefully packed pottery ornaments must have received a heavy clout at some time in the past few years and many of the pieces were chipped, or rubbed.
- 2 • informal Influence or power, especially in politics or business: I knew he carried a lot of cloutMore example sentences
- His leadership has been accompanied by immense popularity that has endowed him with significant power and political clout.
- Those in the know will tell you he got in the team in the first place only thanks to family influence and political clout.
- It will have such political clout and such economic power that it will dictate the terms.
- 3 • archaic A piece of cloth or clothing, especially one used as a patch.More example sentences
- Perhaps you might like to send me some pictures of you in your clouts.
- 4 Archery A target used in long-distance shooting, placed flat on the ground with a flag marking its center.More example sentences
- This type of sight allows the archer to aim directly at the clout flag while still holding the bow at an elevated angle so the arrow will travel the required distance.
verb[with object] Back to top
- 1 • informal Hit hard with the hand or a hard object: I clouted him on the headMore example sentences
- The following year he would clout 25 home runs, to lead the league.
- During meal times, there is much fighting, growling and clouting.
- The home team, hugely superior, clouted in four goals and then eased up to charitably allow their opponents one.
Old English clūt (in the sense 'a patch or metal plate'); related to Dutch kluit 'lump, clod', also to cleat and clot. The shift of sense to 'heavy blow', which dates from late Middle English, is difficult to explain; possibly the change occurred first in the verb (from 'put a patch on' to 'hit hard').