Main definitions of clutch in English

: clutch1clutch2

clutch1

verb

[with object]
  • Grasp (something) tightly.

    ‘he stood clutching a microphone’
    figurative ‘Mrs Longhill clutched at the idea’
    • ‘As it happens, the person at the door was a small man clutching a note book.’
    • ‘It is rather painful however to watch her clutch at the chance for stardom with a diligence and a desperation that the film does not warrant.’
    • ‘The crying woman was clutching her cellphone and at first I thought she must be laughing.’
    • ‘An hour later they realised he had returned and was now clutching a knife to his chest.’
    • ‘She froze, one hand gripping the doorknob and the other clutching the shawl tightly to her chest.’
    • ‘She was wearing tatty clothes and her grubby hands clutched dozens of plastic bags.’
    • ‘As he clutched his chest and fell to the ground in pain, he realized the horror of his mistake.’
    • ‘She yelled back, tightly clutching the seatbelt running diagonally down her chest.’
    • ‘Standing in the witness box, she clutched her handbag to her body to stop her hands from shaking as she gave her evidence.’
    • ‘He sits by the fire at a local hotel clutching the caffeine in one hand and the nicotine in the other.’
    • ‘Too scared to speak, she drove, her eyes alternately on the road ahead and the hand clutching the gun.’
    • ‘Shadows out of the past clutch at my legs and drag me down.’
    • ‘Fortunately for me, I surface somehow clutching the rope on the side of the upturned raft.’
    • ‘One should neither look forward to coming experiences, nor clutch at present ones, but let them all slip easily through one's fingers.’
    • ‘The intruder then searched her bedroom and came down stairs clutching her handbag.’
    • ‘As we stood there awkwardly, clutching our bags, Aunt Rachel gazed at us thoughtfully.’
    • ‘When he is informed that a young woman has arrived at his back door clutching a baby, near panic prevails.’
    • ‘After a short drive around the camp they found a man lying in the bush clutching his leg.’
    • ‘Taking a step back, he felt a cold fear clutch at his chest as he forced himself to breathe.’
    • ‘His wife, a petite blonde, stands beside him clutching a glass of wine and smiling stiffly.’
    • ‘News photos showed one of the men clutching a grenade; relatives insist it was a mobile phone.’
    grip, grasp, clasp, cling to, hang on to, clench, hold
    reach for, snatch at, make a grab for, catch at, claw at
    View synonyms

noun

  • 1A tight grasp.

    ‘she made a clutch at his body’
    • ‘He backed over to the phone, still warm from her clutch.’
    • ‘She dropped her sword because his clutch was so tight, she nearly passed out.’
    • ‘When I extricated myself from her clutches and got back to my seat, she turned to the woman beside me and said, ‘He must really love you.’’
    • ‘A great weight released its clutch on our hearts when we discovered that we wouldn't have to do this the entire time.’
    • ‘I sighed, as I felt his clutch on my arm getting tighter.’
    • ‘In the process, the notorious Captain's rapier fell from his clutches to catch a safe fall.’
    • ‘I harshly removed my arm from his clutch and yelled, ‘Why are you taking me out here?’’
    • ‘She attempted to tear out of his grasp once again until she felt his hand tighten in a bone shattering clutch over her wrist.’
    • ‘His cheeks burning red in response to his anger and hurt, his hold on his blankets turned to a clutch, his knuckles turning white from the strain.’
    • ‘A shock of pain went from the impact of his clutch on my arms all the way down through my spine.’
    • ‘You quickly tighten the clutch, as tight as you dare, then hang on!’
    • ‘She squirmed within his grasp, trying to free herself from his clutch, but it was no use.’
    • ‘He met it with a long looping header which went way beyond the desperate clutches of his opponent and into the far corner of the net.’
    • ‘In one desperate clutch at a straw, the company announced that it would start trading in weather!’
    • ‘But as spirits, they could find no clutch on the physical world.’
    • ‘Extracting himself from his friend's protective clutch, Jack stepped closer to his betrothed and her father.’
    1. 1.1someone's clutches A person's power or control, especially when regarded as inescapable.
      ‘Tom had fallen into Amanda's clutches’
      • ‘No school and I was totally free from the clutches of evil Physics and Chemistry professors.’
      • ‘The cold clutches of reality gripped her stomach with a death hold as she realized… It was all real.’
      • ‘Fear gripped her in icy clutches despite the heat, and then, strangely, it ran down her skin in cold waves like snowmelt down a majestic mountain.’
      • ‘A demon child is rescued during infancy from the evil clutches of the Nazis.’
      • ‘Even though most males caught in her clutches never saw themselves as poor victims.’
      • ‘She moves out, leaving him in the clutches of the two strangers.’
      • ‘And to force them away from evil clutches would mean fighting the Darkness face to face.’
      • ‘Can they escape the clutches of the next century's power mad phone company?’
      • ‘The office-bearers have also promised to sustain the movement till the country is freed from the clutches of corruption.’
      • ‘But I didn't want to fall into the clutches of the local moneylenders.’
      • ‘Smokers are not creatures of habit, smokers are people caught in the clutches of addiction.’
      power, control, domination, command, mastery, rule, tyranny
      View synonyms
  • 2A mechanism for connecting and disconnecting an engine and the transmission system in a vehicle, or the working parts of any machine.

    ‘she let the clutch in and the car surged forward’
    • ‘The first display showed the insides of a four-stroke engine, clutch assembly, gearbox, propeller shaft and differential gear box.’
    • ‘Conventional automatic transmission systems do not have a clutch between the engine and the gearbox.’
    • ‘The gear sets and electric motors are separated by two electronic clutches.’
    • ‘The fully automatic system requires no input from the driver and uses a computer controlled clutch that engages the rear wheels as needed.’
    • ‘Once the car is in motion, the clutch is operated electronically by the complicated gearbox software.’
    • ‘Positioned between the engine and gearbox and using a dual clutch system, this works as both current generator and flywheel.’
    • ‘Petrol and diesel versions are offered and there is the option of a very slick electronic clutch which gives stress-free gear changing in traffic.’
    • ‘The clutch between the engine and traction motor is engaged, and electric motor used for bursts of acceleration.’
    • ‘As you feed your bike extra gas, making the engine race, re-engaging the clutch makes your machine shoot forward.’
    • ‘We were just attempting to start the car when the clutch jumped.’
    • ‘The dual-plate mechanical clutch has a pneumatic booster and three-range five-speed gearbox.’
    • ‘At the end of the session the technicians inspected the car and found that the real problem was the clutch and not the gearbox.’
    • ‘The clutch and gearbox are smooth, the seat seems comfy, the wind protection is very good.’
    • ‘Our spiral retaining rings are used for clutches, transmissions and many other automotive components.’
    • ‘All the hydraulic fuel began to drain out and it was not long until the clutch ceased to function properly.’
    • ‘When the driver makes the gearshift, the first clutch is released and the second engages, so that the gear shift takes place in a fraction of a second.’
    • ‘While the first clutch is transmitting the power, the second clutch is ready to engage the next gear, which is pre-selected.’
    • ‘Central to the system is a multiplate clutch which controls the power delivery to the front wheels.’
    • ‘Two electronically controlled clutches deliver torque to the front wheels individually.’
    1. 2.1 The pedal operating the clutch in a vehicle.
      • ‘With a grin, he stepped down on the clutch and turned the key.’
      • ‘I was coasting up to a roundabout, foot on the clutch and with second gear already selected.’
      • ‘A police report showed he could not have been unconscious at the time of the accident because investigations showed he had his foot on the brake and the clutch at the time of the crash.’
      • ‘Now move your feet on the clutch and brake, at the same time use the gear stick at your side.’
      • ‘Depress the clutch, change gear into neutral again, and apply brakes.’
      • ‘Ian shifted the gear lever into reverse, his left foot trembling, ready to release the clutch at the first opportunity.’
      • ‘I slowly pushed the gas pedal downward and lifted my left foot off the clutch.’
      • ‘I had a go on his bike and controlling the two brakes and clutch at the same time is quite a feat.’
      • ‘‘A lot of people use the clutch and the brake pedal in the wrong order,’ said Smyth.’
      • ‘Kate pushed in the clutch and turned the key in the ignition.’
      • ‘So I depress the very heavy clutch, apply much effort to the he-man gearshift and off we rumble.’
      • ‘He savagely gunned the engine and popped the clutch.’
      • ‘I stepped on the clutch hard and fast, thinking Merlin might drive right over me.’
      • ‘There's not much space around the pedals which means if you have large feet like me, clutch and brake operation can be awkward.’
      • ‘In manual mode, drivers can go up or down gears without depressing the clutch.’
  • 3North American A clutch bag.

    • ‘She smiled once more at the reflection her mirror presented, grabbed her red velvet clutch, and left the room.’
    • ‘I tossed my cell and some lip gloss into a black beaded clutch and rushed out the door to get to his house on time.’
    • ‘This vintage-inspired clutch adds a pop of color and excitement to any look.’
    • ‘I can totally picture someone wearing a dress for a nice night out holding this clutch.’
    • ‘And of course with the dress, she had to get a pair of black strappy heels and a cute black clutch.’
    • ‘Put the accent on femininity with this classy suede-and-lace clutch.’
    • ‘She checked herself once more in the mirror and freshened her lip gloss before tucking the bottle into her clutch and snapping it shut.’
    • ‘He slipped his arm though hers and they left, the feathers on her tiny black clutch ruffling as they walked.’
    • ‘She walked into her closet picked out a red leather mini clutch and her favorite pair of red two and half inch heels and walked out of her room.’
    • ‘If you're wearing a plain outfit, choose a bag that will add interest: get a sparkly/beaded/colourful clutch.’
    • ‘She popped the clasp on her clutch and plucked out her mobile phone.’
    • ‘Your evening bag should also add just the right amount of oomph like a ruffled satin wristlet or an eggplant clutch with a big silky flower.’
    • ‘She grabbed her jacket and black clutch as she went to open the door.’
    • ‘On her feet were a simple pair of black slides with a 4-inch heel and a sleek black clutch was in her hand.’
    • ‘When she returned, she carried a tiny satin clutch and was smiling brightly.’
    • ‘Slouchy or hobo handbags remain strong for day, while the clutch reappears for night.’
    • ‘On her feet were strappy black stilettos, and she was holding onto a matching silver clutch, with a black square clasp.’

adjective

US
informal
  • 1(in sport) denoting or occurring at a critical situation in which the outcome of a game or competition is at stake.

    ‘they both are hard-nosed players who seem to thrive in clutch situations’
    • ‘He's pitched some amazingly clutch games in his career and he's as good a bet as the Yanks have going for them right now.’
    • ‘"I love having to close the match and throw the ball in clutch situations," said Smith, who was forced to finish first by Couch.’
    • ‘The controls are very responsive, and there is no need to worry about a move not going through at a clutch moment.’
    • ‘Neither starter was dominating against the opposing batters, but both managed to keep the game close with some fine defensive help and key outs in clutch moments.’
    • ‘He likes being in clutch situations, always the mark of a great player.’
    • ‘His play in the clutch moments of the final three games against the Wild was nowhere near good enough.’
    • ‘Both are making better decisions in clutch situations.’
    • ‘Instead, he's trying to go through two or three defenders during clutch times.’
    1. 1.1 (of a player or action) achieving or characterized by success at a critical moment in a game or competition.
      ‘a clutch quarterback’
      ‘clutch performances’
      • ‘For all the Moneyball talk, it's hard to dismiss nine straight losses in clinching games, especially when there's a huge dismissal of "clutch" hitting by Beane and friends.’
      • ‘Gordon has been the Bulls' clutch man off the bench, a 42.7 percent 3-point shooter who already is known for his fourth quarter heroics.’
      • ‘The New England Patriots quarterback is, as his Denver Broncos counterpart Jake Plummer puts it, "very clutch".’
      • ‘His buzzer-beating, game-winning jumper in Detroit was his latest example of clutch play.’
      • ‘Still, I'd take San Pedro's second finest over any but two of today's "clutch" guards.’
      • ‘Earlier in his season Valbuena had some clutch hits in key situations.’
      • ‘The Cleveland Indians are headed back to the American League Championship Series thanks to some clutch pitching from an unlikely ace.’
      • ‘He's a clutch hitter who makes everyone around him better.’
      • ‘There's an instinctive recognition on the part of sport fan of who is a "clutch" player and who is a "choker", who the Football (or Baseball, Basketball, etc.) gods smile on and who is forever cursed.’
      • ‘So, we have Michael's Greatest Moves, Michael's Greatest Clutch Shots, Michael's Greatest Assists, and of course Michael's Greatest Dunks.’
      • ‘He has defined the word "clutch" for the Steelers, with three turnovers in his last 143 throws.’
      • ‘QB Tom Brady is as clutch a quarterback as there is.’
      • ‘His defense is top tier and he is hitting .286 for the last two weeks with numerous timely clutch hits.’
      • ‘There's little statistical evidence that "clutch" players exist - that some guys hit disproportionately well in important situations.’
      • ‘Espo - he was so clutch for us that whole series.’
      • ‘He's obviously not a "clutch" pitcher.’
      • ‘Barry makes too many clutch plays to be on the bench late in games.’
      • ‘With a series of gutsy chips and clutch putts, Guan notched four birdies and carded a 1-over-par 73.’
      • ‘When the clock winds down and the Nets need a clutch shot, they will turn to their point guard.’

Phrases

  • clutch one's pearls

    • humorous Be extremely or excessively shocked or appalled.

      ‘apparently everyone at the film festival is clutching their pearls in horror over the explicit sex scenes in his new film’
  • in the clutch

    • informal At a critical moment.

      ‘why are some athletes able to perform in the clutch while others choke?’
      • ‘I don't understand how to buy things; I always choke in the clutch.’
      • ‘Hunte also spoke highly of his two veteran players, Vernon Lewis and Kane Easter, who both came through in the clutch.’
      • ‘But the arrogance that enables him to be such a reliable shooter in the clutch prevents him from countenancing the fact that he's a defensive liability.’
      • ‘I insisted that Barrett belonged on the All-Star team, citing his batting average 'in the clutch' and stellar fielding percentage.’
      • ‘The underdog players will undoubtedly come through in the clutch, and David will fire his slingshot rock square into the forehead of the mighty giant.’
      • ‘Thank you for coming through in the clutch.’
      • ‘Bryan came through in the clutch when it was needed.’
      • ‘I put myself in position a lot and while I haven't come through in the clutch, there have been a lot of positives.’
      • ‘His failings have become clear: not too smart, not too experienced, unimpressive in the clutch.’
      • ‘It's not that robots don't bleed, but more that they don't play hurt, or brawl, or choke in the clutch.’

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘bend, crook’): variant of obsolete clitch ‘close the hand’, from Old English clyccan ‘crook, clench’, of Germanic origin.

Pronunciation

clutch

/klʌtʃ/

Main definitions of clutch in English

: clutch1clutch2

clutch2

noun

  • 1A group of eggs fertilized at the same time, laid in a single session and (in birds) incubated together.

    ‘they lay fewer than ten eggs in a clutch’
    • ‘We collected clutches, incubated the eggs, and took blood samples from hatching young.’
    • ‘It is not uncommon for the female to be incubating the second clutch while the male is still tending the first.’
    • ‘These females were still observed feeding the fledglings while at the same time incubating their second clutch.’
    • ‘During the three-month breeding season, a female can lay several hundred eggs in a number of separate clutches.’
    • ‘Once the male has fertilized a clutch of eggs, he carries them in his mouth for one to two weeks, until they hatch.’
    • ‘Each intrusion was performed when the male was incubating the clutch and his mate was absent.’
    • ‘Males in two species are known to guard egg clutches and carry hatchlings on their backs.’
    • ‘It takes three to four days for all of the eggs in the clutch to hatch.’
    • ‘Eggs are laid one a day and there is often a second clutch.’
    • ‘Clutches of eggs from individual females were collected, and each clutch was split in half.’
    • ‘All males had a similar-sized nest, but egg clutch size in the nests differed.’
    • ‘The females lay small clutches of large eggs.’
    • ‘In fact, in five out of the seven cases the replacement clutch was laid in a different territory.’
    • ‘Seven females produced a replacement clutch soon after the eggs from their first clutches disappeared.’
    • ‘The female incubates her large clutch, and both parents tend the hatchlings.’
    • ‘It would therefore take a single female 40-50 days to lay the maximum clutch that could be incubated.’
    • ‘Females lay a single clutch per season, usually of three eggs, in a naturally occurring tree hollow.’
    • ‘Many other fish species build nests and fertilize large clutches of eggs externally.’
    • ‘The female incubates the clutch of eggs, which can vary from 4 to 6, but usually consists of 5 eggs.’
    • ‘He attributed increased mortality to inefficient incubation of enlarged clutches, which resulted in more dead embryos.’
    group, batch, nestful
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A brood of chicks.
      ‘the number of chicks in a clutch varies according to the availability of food and the danger of predators’
      • ‘Compared with the Scandinavian birds, North American hawk owls turn out to be a bit larger, to have fewer young per clutch, and to be less specialized.’
      • ‘You can have a clutch of chicks, a clutter of cats, and a sleuth of bears, if anyone was wondering.’
      • ‘Does the number of surviving offspring in a clutch vary predictably as a function of a parent's success in obtaining mates?’
      • ‘It looks as it has been a good year so far for the wild duck as a few clutches of young Mallard have been noticed on the river.’
      • ‘The proceeds amounted to 115 which bought a clutch of chicks, a goat and a Family Survival Kit.’
      • ‘In recent years the school has been able to sponsor goats, rabbits and clutches of chickens for needy families in African countries.’
      • ‘Later, three juveniles from this clutch were banded and genetically sampled.’
      • ‘For example, a donation buys a clutch of chicks for a family in Central America, which will give that family an ongoing supply of eggs, meat and additional income.’
      • ‘Often the breeding pair reproduces again the same year, therefore producing a second clutch.’
      • ‘More than one clutch per season is often produced.’
      • ‘Some pairs raise two clutches in a single season.’
      • ‘Almost 10,000 clutches of chicks were purchased for families in Central America.’
    2. 1.2 A small group of people or things.
      ‘a clutch of brightly painted holiday homes’
      • ‘The Scottish team will also feature a clutch of graduates from the Commonwealth Youth Games, which were hosted in Edinburgh two years ago.’
      • ‘That means fringe players could all be off-loaded in order to make way for a clutch of new faces.’
      • ‘On the next wall, there is a clutch of figurative drawings from the early 1990s, some beautifully conceived and others unwieldy and amateurish.’
      • ‘But the beaches are superb and have attracted a small clutch of top-class hotels.’
      • ‘This story appeared as one of a rotating clutch of stories under the the exciting group heading ‘Other News’.’
      • ‘Despite having won a clutch of literary prizes and being regarded as an elder statesman of letters, he eschews the label of ‘celebrity’.’
      • ‘While tens of thousands race mountain bikes each year, it is truly a preciously small clutch of people who ensure these events ever come into being at all.’
      • ‘One of a clutch of forthcoming movies is Prime, about an older woman who falls in love with a much younger man.’
      • ‘The students have picked up a clutch of medals at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show.’
      • ‘In December he makes a welcome return to the venue with a clutch of songs guaranteed to put smiles on faces.’
      • ‘A clutch of business figures pondered which Scottish companies - outside the whisky firms - could be genuinely described as global.’
      • ‘The company has recruited a clutch of senior managers from car manufacturers.’
      • ‘Today, thanks to the professional services offered by a clutch of landscape artists, gardening has assumed an altogether different dimension.’
      • ‘Both short films won a clutch of awards at international festival level.’
      • ‘A clutch of girls bring her into the shop for bandages and comfort, and the normally slow, deliberative Michael finds himself supplying both.’
      • ‘The staff remain fiercely proud of their product, which has won a clutch of awards.’
      • ‘If you like jazz, head for the clutch of famous late-night bars - you can blow your mind away until dawn.’
      • ‘The champion cyclist had carried off a clutch of medals, awards and commendations, and been named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.’
      • ‘I was surrounded by a clutch of girls and young men - my sisters and brothers.’
      • ‘His unforgettable lead performance has already earned him a clutch of awards, including a Best Actor Oscar nomination.’
      group, collection, set, quantity, raft
      View synonyms

Origin

Early 18th century: probably a southern variant of northern English dialect cletch, related to Middle English cleck ‘to hatch’, from Old Norse klekja.

Pronunciation

clutch

/klʌtʃ/