Definition of clash in English:



  • 1A violent confrontation.

    ‘there have been minor clashes with security forces’
    • ‘Two protesters were killed in recent clashes with police and a police chief was photographed shooting one man in cold blood.’
    • ‘A naval journal from 1853-1854 reveals clashes with pirates in the Far East at the height of British imperial power.’
    • ‘The anger and frustration of the most oppressed sections of youth that erupted in the form of violent clashes with police in the Paris area last week has now spread to the whole of France.’
    • ‘Violent clashes with police erupted after demonstrators attempted to storm into the concert.’
    • ‘Antigovernment demonstrations and violent clashes with the security forces marked the months that followed.’
    • ‘Fifteen pro-hunting demonstrators were being held in custody today following yesterday's violent clashes with police outside Parliament, police said.’
    • ‘Violent protests and clashes with armed riot police have continued every night since and have spread to other working class suburbs.’
    • ‘The protests turned into violent clashes with police.’
    • ‘The others clashed with more than 1,000 police and more than 20 protesters were injured in two battles of clashes with police early Monday afternoon.’
    • ‘Violence, property damage, and clashes with police became expected features of the anti-globalization movement.’
    • ‘However his duties throughout WW2 in a total of nine countries saw no clashes with the enemy and although he was battle trained he never fired his gun other than during target practice.’
    • ‘Six persons including an 8 year old boy were injured in different road mishaps and three others were wounded in separate clashes.’
    • ‘Riot police were involved last night in violent clashes with hundreds of youths in Leeds.’
    • ‘The union said the farmers arrested on Monday went to help a besieged neighbour, leading to violent clashes with militants occupying his land.’
    • ‘Over the past couple of months hundreds of thousands of protestors have dominated the country's capital, resulting in a series of violent clashes with police and brutal arrests.’
    • ‘Pioneer farming settlements began to spring up, canals were constructed, and the controversial building of roads and railways led to the famous clashes with Native Americans.’
    • ‘Their dispute has resulted in clashes with the police, and the union is considering legal action over the use of stun grenades and rubber bullets.’
    • ‘Four men have been arrested following violent clashes with police in a disturbance in Huddersfield during which a council building was damaged by a blazing car.’
    • ‘And several were injured in clashes with the security forces.’
    • ‘Last week a march organised by the National Union of Students ended in violent clashes with the police.’
    confrontation, skirmish, brush, encounter, engagement, collision, incident, conflict, fight, battle
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    1. 1.1An incompatibility leading to disagreement.
      ‘a personality clash’
      • ‘And indeed, for the first few days the clash of personalities and cultures can be terrifying.’
      • ‘So it may have been a matter of a personality clash.’
      • ‘He puts it down to a simple clash of personalities.’
      • ‘It is expected that a healthy flow of ideas and suggestions, and not a clash of personalities shall prevail.’
      • ‘The company, however, put the conflict down to a personality clash between the parties.’
      • ‘The power struggle at centres around a personality clash between him and the man who has become the most important figure behind the scenes.’
      • ‘I do not think that it is grandiose to say that what we are seeing unfolding before our eyes is nothing less than the clash of two very different civilizations.’
      • ‘Have you noticed recent personality clashes, suddenly overly-friendly colleagues, or small huddled groups round water coolers who stop talking as you approach?’
      • ‘The Executive is facing some major divisions - not only with ideology, but with personality clashes.’
      • ‘In every party, personality clashes occur all the time, but they don't normally emerge to the light of public day.’
      • ‘Lack of money seems a thin excuse, and his departure is more likely to have been the result of a clash of personalities.’
      • ‘The convoy itself encountered numerous difficulties; mechanical and logistical problems were compounded by stormy clashes of personality.’
      • ‘His dissenting judgments brought many clashes with the House of Lords.’
      • ‘‘There was a clash of personalities and things took a turn for the worse,’ he said.’
      • ‘What could have been a mutually beneficial working relationship was marred by the clash of their personalities.’
      • ‘And on Friday there's going to be a clash of these two different ideals.’
      • ‘Ammu, did you really have many clashes with father?’
      • ‘I very much hope that a clash of civilisations can be avoided - there's nothing inevitable about it.’
      • ‘Generational clashes over clothing are nothing new.’
      • ‘For far too long now, election campaigns in this country have been devoid of issues and dominated by petty issues and personality clashes.’
      argument, altercation, confrontation, angry exchange, shouting match, war of words, battle royal, passage of arms
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    2. 1.2British A sports fixture (used chiefly in journalism)
      ‘the Euro 2000 clash between England and Germany’
      • ‘Queensbury make the journey to Drighlington for an all-Pennine Premier Division clash.’
      • ‘Andy Gray was back in training with Scotland today hoping he has done enough to feature in the crunch clash with Germany.’
      • ‘Reds now turn their attentions to Sunday's promotion clash with Leigh.’
      • ‘City's new targetman is excited by the prospect of making his debut in tomorrow's top-six clash at Brentford.’
      • ‘First off is a tough trip to Bristol for a clash with second division pacesetters Gloucester.’
      • ‘Dietary dilemmas aside, the match promises to be a fiercely contested clash between two top rugby nations.’
      • ‘Top seed Peter Nicol will meet seventh seed Simon Parke in an all-Yorkshire clash featuring two former champions.’
      • ‘Noble admitted to be looking forward to the clash immensely.’
      • ‘Away from England's group there are interesting clashes elsewhere in the first round draw.’
      • ‘Besides the controversy surrounding the fight, the clash also forms a grudge return match between the two boxers.’
      • ‘Leeds warmed up for their clash with Salford by beating Halifax 38-10.’
      • ‘City went into the Carrow Road clash having lost six of their last seven games.’
      • ‘Torres who has reportedly amassed 53 career wins with 16 losses is said to be arriving for the clash next Saturday.’
      • ‘Portuguese newspapers are looking forward to their team's quarter-final clash with England.’
      • ‘The Yorkshiremen could not have got off to a better start in the Roses clash at Dark Lane.’
      • ‘Peter Fulton put Canterbury in command on the first day of their clash against Central Districts in Christchurch.’
      • ‘Parnevik kept up the pressure in a tense clash with Tiger Woods to take the game to the final hole.’
      • ‘Bucks redeemed themselves against opponents who humiliated them 5-1 in a Rothmans Cup clash earlier in the season.’
      • ‘Rochdale are unchanged for their National league Cup clash with Keighley at Spotland.’
      • ‘Bulls boss Brian Noble has hailed the return to form of skipper Robbie Paul ahead of Sunday's clash with Huddersfield Giants.’
      competition, contest, tournament, round, heat, game, match, fixture, meet, meeting, encounter
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  • 2A mismatch of colours.

    ‘a clash of tweeds and a striped shirt’
    • ‘He spilled a can of green paint across terracotta tiles - what a horrendous clash of colours.’
    • ‘In France people need permission to paint buildings a particular colour in an effort to avoid a clash of colour in a street.’
    • ‘Gone are the stylish wedding planners who once plucked out the excess baby's breath and saved you from unforeseen colour clashes.’
    mismatch, discordance, discord, lack of harmony, incompatibility, jarring
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    1. 2.1An inconvenient coincidence of the timing of events or activities.
      ‘it is hoped that clashes of dates will be avoided’
      • ‘A previously advertised shoot at Ballyhaunis, for Sun. 27th June, has been cancelled due to a clash of dates with another event.’
      • ‘Due to a clash of dates the benefit social in aid of the M.S. Therapy Centre due to be held in Kennedy's this Saturday night has been postponed.’
      • ‘The clash of events is causing concern in G.A.A. circles as the concert may reduce the attendance at the game in Castlebar.’
      • ‘The Olympic champion could well have won four titles if she had not chosen to drop out of the 100 butterfly to avoid a clash of events.’
      • ‘The clash of dates, meanwhile, is unfortunate, though it hardly constitutes a disaster.’
      • ‘It was cancelled at the last minute last year to avoid a clash with another cycling event.’
      • ‘This year for our 56th Annual School and Juvenile Sports we had earmarked a late June date but a clash with a big concert ruled it out.’
      • ‘Due to a date clash, they were all riding at the Maxxis British Solo Motocross Championship in Northern Ireland.’
      • ‘The clash of dates had caused speculation as to whether the Prime Minister would go to Rome for the pope's funeral or stay at home and attend the royal wedding in Windsor as planned.’
      • ‘The same clash of dates has prevented a return visit again this year.’
      • ‘And when the tour was confirmed, the clash of dates with the SAF Games became inevitable.’
      • ‘He said the club had considered the York City Knights when planning the event to avoid a clash with the rugby league club's big home game with Keighley.’
      • ‘Because the site was so fully booked, the date could not be shifted to avoid a clash with the Boston event.’
      • ‘He will be forced to miss the Tour of Flanders due to a date clash with the Southampton Boat Show,’
      coincidence, concurrence, co-occurrence
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  • 3A loud jarring sound, as of metal objects being struck together.

    ‘a clash of cymbals’
    • ‘I would have replied, but I could hear the first clash of metal, and screams from the great hall.’
    • ‘I was just starting to get back to normal when there was a loud clash of cymbals next door followed by the ‘Pom, Pom, Pom, Pom’ of a large lass playing the tuba.’
    • ‘A staff hit her sword with the resounding clash of wood against metal.’
    • ‘James set down his glass cup on the edge of the sink, unclenching his fist, and the clash of metal and glass seemed to reverberate harshly in her ears.’
    • ‘Without another thought, they spurred their horses forward as shouts erupted in the air and there was the clash of metal against metal.’
    • ‘The clash of metal echoed throughout the castle.’
    • ‘I heard clashes of metal and yells and then nothing.’
    • ‘Before the elf could answer, however, there was a loud roar of anger, a terrifying clash of metal, and a feminine scream.’
    • ‘Suddenly I heard a clash of metal on metal which brought me out of my thoughts - I looked up and found I could see two people fencing ahead.’
    • ‘The clash of metal on metal reverberated through the alley.’
    • ‘The clash of metal resonated over the desert lands.’
    • ‘The man was unprepared for the assault and the pistol flew out of his hand, striking the wall in a clash of metal against stone.’
    • ‘There was a loud clash of steel on steel as the swords collided, sparks exploding into being, before both warriors pulled away, circling each other warily.’
    • ‘At this drab time of year, the annual Jorvik Viking Festival bursts in with a blast on a horn and a colourful clash of swords.’
    • ‘An ominous clash of thunder sounded in the near distance.’
    • ‘The clang was followed by more loud clashes from someone dropping something.’
    • ‘Metal hit metal, the clashes resounding again through the wide plains.’
    • ‘Shouts came from nearby and the clash of metal was evident.’
    • ‘From above, muffled cries of chaos could be distinguished, among the clash of weaponry.’
    • ‘She heard the clash of metal and quickened her pace down the trail.’
    striking, bang, clang, crash, clatter, clank
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  • 1Meet and come into violent conflict.

    ‘protestors demanding self-rule clashed with police’
    • ‘Students clashed repeatedly with riot police outside the court.’
    • ‘Several people were wounded and one killed when protesters clashed with troops on August 13.’
    • ‘The wounds left by one of the country's most serious public disorders in more than 50 years, where hundreds of youths clashed with riot police, would not heal overnight.’
    • ‘Security forces clashed with a ‘terrorist band’, officials said last night.’
    • ‘The annual May Day demonstrations got off to a violent start overnight when police clashed with protestors in Berlin and the northern city of Hamburg.’
    • ‘A crowd of between 300 and 400 drunken louts clashed with police officers and vandalised a tram after the match.’
    • ‘Thousands of anti-government demonstrators clashed with supporters of the president in the capital yesterday.’
    • ‘A demonstration turned violent when police clashed with protesters after the rally had all but dispersed.’
    • ‘He dismissed the anarchists who clashed with police on Monday as ‘losers’.’
    • ‘Thousands of Chinese villagers have clashed with police after officials cut off water used for irrigating drought-plagued fields.’
    • ‘In a sixth night of violence across troubled suburbs around Paris on Tuesday night, police clashed with angry youths and scores of vehicles were torched in at least nine towns.’
    • ‘Demonstrators in Cairo have clashed with police in recent days.’
    • ‘Some clashed with policemen who were trying to prevent conflict between the two groups.’
    • ‘In Algeria, police have again clashed with protesters, this time to break up a demonstration.’
    • ‘On Wednesday, police in riot gear clashed with fans as Chelsea met West Ham.’
    • ‘The violence began when police clashed with some 2,000 demonstrators who were demanding the release of six people earlier detained by police.’
    • ‘Violence erupted on Tuesday when militants clashed with a bandit gang and 15 people were killed.’
    • ‘Anarchist protesters brought chaos to the city centre today as they clashed with police in a series of violent confrontations.’
    • ‘Anti-war protesters outside the embassy have repeatedly clashed with riot police, thrown stones and ignited gas canisters and tyres.’
    • ‘In Greece, a protest by 150,000 in Athens turned violent when police fired tear gas and clashed with anarchists.’
    fight, skirmish, contend, come to blows, be in conflict, come into conflict, engage, war, grapple
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    1. 1.1Have a forceful disagreement.
      ‘the prime minister clashed with other Commonwealth leaders’
      • ‘In our country and all over the world, we have a great confusion of various ideas and people clashing with each other.’
      • ‘Dan, now successful in advertising, is doing his best to drink himself into failure; in a bleakly comic scene he clashes with Julia, who has become a wealthy lifestyle guru.’
      • ‘The senator has really clashed with Republicans on the Hill.’
      • ‘Each works in their own way to fight the corporate media system and its government control, eventually clashing over their differing methods of protest.’
      • ‘By voting for the reforms the students have clashed with older generations of doctors within the BMA who are opposed to random testing, seeing it as an infringement of their civil liberties.’
      • ‘Later, Rachel clashes with roommates after she takes it upon herself to pressure them to get up and get moving early - as it's done in the Army.’
      • ‘The Government clashed with one of its biggest employee unions yesterday over the effect of a strike by workers protesting at the removal of security screens protecting them from the public.’
      • ‘Wind farm champions clashed with critics at a green energy meeting in Kendal.’
      • ‘Sources have told the Sunday Herald that the energy minister has clashed with the PIU's expert advisers and demanded that a draft be rewritten so that it was less negative about nuclear power.’
      • ‘We were no longer supposed to argue, clash, conflict, debate, dispute, oppose, or protest.’
      • ‘Earlier this year the justice minister clashed with council leaders.’
      • ‘The leader of the minority Liberal Democrat party repeatedly clashed with the mayor during last month's meeting of the full council.’
      • ‘He's a moderate Republican; he's frequently clashed with GOP leaders.’
      • ‘The two have since clashed frequently over his spending to recruit top bankers.’
      • ‘Upon her arrival in 1862, she immediately clashes with the all-powerful ruler over his refusal to give her a house outside the Royal Palace in which to raise her young son.’
      • ‘This dispute is not the first time Marie has clashed with the council.’
      • ‘I've never clashed with her over anything else.’
      • ‘The MP has clashed with his own councillors, after they decided to oppose any plan to build a third runway and sixth terminal, at Heathrow Airport.’
      • ‘Members of the County Council have clashed over the issue of auctioneers' signs which are obliterating the countryside.’
      • ‘But Phillips disagreed and the two clashed over finance.’
      disagree, dissent, differ, wrangle, dispute, cross swords, lock horns, be at odds, be at loggerheads
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    2. 1.2Be incompatible or at odds.
      ‘his thriftiness clashed with Ross's largesse’
      • ‘As soon as we find a value that looks universal, we see that it clashes with other, equally universal values.’
      • ‘But at some point, won't all those egos clash?’
      • ‘Tempers have flared as the newcomers' habits have clashed with local customs.’
      • ‘However, his older brother, Anthony, has his own ideas about how to spend the money and their polar opposite fiscal philosphies eventually clash.’
      • ‘One could say that these differing philosophies clashed.’
      • ‘And you know, when you describe him as defiant and combative, I think that this is a really interesting case of where the video clashes with reality.’
      • ‘The intern visibly suffers as idealism clashes with professional goals.’
      • ‘Doesn't it seem, though, that this clashes with their earlier demand for freedom for everyone?’
      • ‘This view clashes with the feelings of residents and businesses.’
      • ‘He was aware of the reformist current in Iranian culture and government, which clashes with the more traditionalist conservatives.’
      • ‘This figure clashes with that of the Office of Tobacco Control, as the State agency says just under 25% of Irish people smoke.’
      • ‘Communities with direct experience of the company's operations see another side of the company which clashes with the public image.’
      • ‘Eastern religion and science can proceed side-by-side without dispute or clashing with each other.’
      • ‘This position clashes with that of others.’
      • ‘Their personalities clashed viciously, and this would probably only be the first of many disagreements.’
      • ‘This rough, urban setting clashes with our preconceived notions about her adorable subject matter.’
      • ‘I can deal with a film that has plot, but at times, it seems like the director's desire to break Hollywood conventions clashes with amateurish writing.’
      • ‘The absurdity of the plot clashes with the show's craving for social realism.’
      • ‘Clearly, the principle of self-determination clashes with the principle of territorial integrity and global leaders are increasingly seeing this angle to the problem.’
      • ‘The advice that women use barrier contraception clashed with the hospital's ethos, although the leaflet did say abstinence was acceptable.’
      in conflict, in disagreement, on bad terms, at cross purposes, at loggerheads, quarrelling, arguing, clashing, at daggers drawn, at each other's throats, at outs, estranged
      at variance, not in keeping, out of keeping, out of line, out of step, in opposition, conflicting, clashing, disagreeing, differing, contrary, incompatible, contradictory, inconsistent, irreconcilable, incongruous, discrepant
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    3. 1.3British (in reference to sports teams) play a match (used chiefly in journalism)
      ‘the two sides clashed in a goalless draw at Old Trafford in November’
      • ‘Even then the Clubs for some strange reason did not clash too often in major Championship matches.’
      • ‘Lara will be keen to cap his last international match with a win against England when the two under-performing teams clash on Saturday.’
      • ‘It is all of 98 years since the hurlers of Carlow and Meath first clashed on the inter-county hurling stage!’
      • ‘If all goes well for both of them, Stevens and Hunter will clash in the first quarter-final, on Wednesday, November 25.’
      • ‘It will be the second time in a week the two teams clash following their 1-1 draw in a crucial league encounter at the same venue last weekend.’
      • ‘In the Intermediate Cup, York and Scarborough will renew hostilities at Clifton Park, Pocklington and York RI will clash at Percy Road and Selby play hosts to Northallerton.’
      • ‘The game was originally fixed for Thursday, August 7th and the sides drew when they clashed earlier in the league.’
      • ‘It makes no sense at all for them to clash again in the semi-final.’
  • 2(of colours) appear discordant or ugly when placed close to each other.

    ‘suits in clashing colours’
    • ‘Time and again, I've been told that color combinations I like clash.’
    • ‘We worked in silence; occasionally I had to tell him to use different wrapping paper or that his ribbons clashed with the paper.’
    • ‘The explosions blossomed in the night sky, the colors continuing to clash against each other.’
    • ‘She blushed bright pink from her neck to her hairline, the color clashing horribly with her auburn hair.’
    • ‘The green color of my bag clashed horribly with my yellow dress and my red hair but I couldn't be persuaded to leave it behind.’
    • ‘She's wearing an orange t-shirt and purple three-quarter pants that clash horribly with her hair.’
    • ‘Besides, the colours clash with my living room.’
    • ‘The design challenges come in giving these bold evergreens enough shoulder room and keeping their flower colors from clashing.’
    • ‘The floor under Cecil's feet was tiled, colours merging and clashing in a dazzling display.’
    • ‘He had very pale skin that clashed horribly with his black hair, which hung to his shoulders.’
    • ‘Note down how some people clash colours, while others are able to mix complementary tones that suit their overall look.’
    • ‘Designs that use too many colors, colors that clash, or a messy layout, are just plain hard to look at.’
    • ‘It was a bright orange color and it clashed horribly with my baby blue pajama bottoms.’
    • ‘She used to love being outdoors, and she used to always wear bright, if sometimes clashing, colours.’
    • ‘I could colour it orange instead, but it would clash, and I think I would rather go to bed.’
    • ‘Be careful that your colors don't clash, either among the flowers or between flowers and furniture.’
    • ‘The only difference was the hair color; Jillian's was a fair, straw color, clashing with Aubrey's sandy locks.’
    • ‘The blood's deep red hue clashed against his skin's pale white pigment.’
    • ‘The carpet clashes with the chairs.’
    be incompatible, not match, not go, be discordant, jar
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    1. 2.1Inconveniently occur at the same time.
      ‘we play our home games when they do not clash with those of Liverpool or Everton’
      • ‘Apparently, he was miffed that his party, at a fabulous palazzo, clashed with a dinner held in honour of Lucian Freud.’
      • ‘The gig clashes with the England-France match.’
      • ‘He will compete in six of the championships' seven rounds, missing one because it clashes with his touring car commitments.’
      • ‘In fact this clashes with Fenner's birthday party, and I decide that I can probably manage both in one evening.’
      • ‘It is the second time that the play-offs are being postponed, as the previous matches clashed with the final of the NFA Cup, which in fact took place last weekend.’
      • ‘But the timing was not great for Melbournians, for whom it was the start of the first week back at Uni, and it clashed with the Newcastle Writers' Festival.’
      • ‘I've not managed to get to Cropredy for some years, as it clashes with the Edinburgh Festival.’
      • ‘Broadcasters have already warned that fair coverage of a referendum would be impossible if it clashes with the May elections, and some ministers fear it could lead to a legal challenge in the courts.’
      • ‘This is causing the operators something of a headache as they try to keep their tournaments from clashing with each other.’
      • ‘She should have gone out to visit Florida State University last month, but her visit clashed with an athletics meeting in Mannheim.’
      • ‘However, the date of the EGM may be changed as many retailers say it clashes with one of the busiest trading periods of the year.’
      • ‘It is not known if the prime minister will fly to the funeral, or what he will do if it clashes with the prince's wedding on Friday.’
      • ‘I understand the Boat Race was first changed to Sunday because it clashed with the Grand National and the BBC could not cover both outside broadcasts simultaneously.’
      • ‘I was rather annoyed to realise that the London To Brighton Bike Ride this year clashes with one of the big staging rehearsals for the Chorus' Summer Show.’
      • ‘It is a shame though, that the event clashes with the All-Ireland Under-21 final.’
      • ‘It was a shame that it clashed with the Wales - Ireland Six Nations rugby match, but looking back, people may have been better off watching the volleyball instead.’
      • ‘I'm also nervous because the Spanish exam time clashes with my Intro to Law class.’
      • ‘Organisers of a popular fireworks display which clashes with England's crucial football game in Turkey this Saturday are hoping the big match action does not deter the crowds.’
      • ‘Derby Day, Sunday, June 30 which features The Budweiser on the Curragh race course clashes with the final of the World Cup.’
      • ‘The parade will kick off at its usual time of 1.15p.m. despite the fact it is clashing this year with the Waterford City Parade.’
      conflict, coincide, occur simultaneously, happen at the same time as
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  • 3[with object] Strike (cymbals) together, producing a loud discordant sound.

    • ‘They watched as the two fighters kept moving, their swords clashing.’
    • ‘He used his knife to deflect her sword and they clashed with a loud clang.’
    • ‘With this their swords clashed with a loud clang of metal.’
    • ‘Their weapons clashed as they met in the middle of the room.’
    • ‘Drums beating, cymbals clashing, the dragons blinked and leaped about athletically.’
    • ‘Draconis ran forward, Mango rushing to meet him, and their swords clashed together violently.’
    • ‘Clashing cymbals punctuate her hips as they start and stop.’
    • ‘Her sword clashed with that of another as the reinforcements arrived.’
    • ‘From inside the gym, two swords were violently clashing against each other.’
    • ‘Swords clashed, cold steel shining in the candlelight.’
    • ‘Dante brought his sword down and metal clashed together as Kain swiped his upwards.’
    • ‘To his surprise though, his sword clashed with something else metal.’
    • ‘They moved swiftly and surely, swords clashing in a continual struggle, but they seemed fairly evenly matched for neither seemed able to get the upper edge.’
    • ‘Sword clashed with sword and Katherine pulled away.’
    • ‘I heard the sounds of their blades clashing repeatedly as I raised myself to a stand.’
    • ‘Their swords clashed as the audience watched in silence.’
    • ‘Their blades clash again, though both are little less energetic than before.’
    • ‘The sound of there swords clashing together seemed to echo.’
    • ‘The sound of metal clashing together alerted the group and the knights ran to her aid along with everybody else.’
    • ‘Arrows flew through the air, spears were hurled at the intruders and at the defenders, and swords clashed with shields.’
    bang, strike, clang, crash, smash, clank, clatter
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Early 16th century: imitative.