Definition of clamp in English:



  • 1A brace, band, or clasp used for strengthening or holding things together.

    • ‘Check the edges for alignment often before tightening the clamps down.’
    • ‘Jack ran to the back of the mainframe and released the hydraulic power clamps.’
    • ‘Use small wood blocks or clamp covers so that clamps will not mar the wood.’
    • ‘Another very useful tool is a laminate flooring clamp, which tightens together tongue and groove boards.’
    • ‘Probably a ring-shaped structure holds the DNA like a sliding clamp.’
    • ‘When the leg placement is correct, tighten the clamps.’
    • ‘A note of caution: stainless steel hose clamps aren't always stainless.’
    • ‘Bending a walnut stock is done by adding gradual heat, a procedure requiring special clamps and vises.’
    • ‘Back in the early days, most hose clamps were steel and corroded readily.’
    • ‘Tighten the clamps alternately so the joints meet as evenly as possible.’
    • ‘Once it has dried, remove the clamps.’
    • ‘Secure your work with a vise or clamps: at elbow height for general filing, lower for heavier filing, and nearer to eye level for delicate work.’
    • ‘Then turn both top and bottom plates on their sides and put them together using large jaw clamps.’
    • ‘She took an old broom handle and attached her garden hose to it with four metal hose clamps.’
    • ‘The dolphins could also attach a clamp onto an intruding diver, which would act as a restraint device.’
    • ‘Start by attaching the flexible vent from vent-connection kit to the periscope vent, using the band clamps in the kit.’
    • ‘The extensions are actually part of each side of the saw clamp, riveted together at the outer end.’
    • ‘Today with the good quality stainless steel clamps, the second clamp is not as critical as in days of old.’
    • ‘The barrel is held in place by a simple clamp and setscrew arrangement.’
    • ‘With a whine, the hydraulic clamps extended, moving the severely damaged chassis walls down to the floor.’
    brace, vice, press
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1An electric circuit that serves to maintain the voltage limits of a signal at prescribed levels.
      • ‘Electrical plug device including optical plug and socket connectors, terminal clamps connecting to electric mains, and an electronic bus coupler’
      • ‘A clamp circuit controls the terminal voltage of the smoothing capacitor to a predetermined level so as to produce a power supply voltage.’
      • ‘The conventional whole-cell voltage clamp recording method was employed.’
      • ‘Single OHCs were studied under whole-cell voltage clamp.’
      • ‘When the driving voltage of sense amplifier exceeds the reference voltage, the clamp drops the driving voltage of sense amplifier.’
      • ‘We set up each experiment to take a series of 27 images with the clamp voltage switched back and forth between 0 mV and a test voltage after every three image frames.’
      • ‘Note that at the most negative voltage the clamp becomes unstable, indicating that here the capacity is overcompensated.’


  • 1 Fasten (something) in place with a clamp.

    ‘the sander is clamped onto the edge of a workbench’
    • ‘I clamp together the second corner with the vices.’
    • ‘I use an electric drill clamped in a vice to turn my wood.’
    • ‘Plan your cuts so that the direction of the wood grain parallels the long edges and clamp a straightedge to the plywood to guide your cuts.’
    • ‘Loosely clamp legs together at their centers with C clamps.’
    • ‘At first the mirrors were just clamped onto aluminum blocks, but the linkage was a major source of vibration.’
    • ‘Metal clamps appeared out of nowhere, clamping her ankles and wrists to the chair.’
    • ‘She placed a motorized device onto the rope and clamped it in place.’
    • ‘Prisms and small mirrors also can be clamped in place on their mounts with multiple springs.’
    • ‘To cut acrylic by snapping, first lay out your cut line on the protective sheet, then hold or clamp a straightedge against the line.’
    • ‘‘The handle was clamped in a vice on a workbench, yet the blade started vibrating like mad,’ he said.’
    • ‘With the bike upside down, clamp the top of the seatpost into a large bench vise that is bolted to a very secure workbench.’
    • ‘Stabilize tools for sharpening by bracing them against a solid surface or clamping them in a vise.’
    • ‘The umbilical cord is usually clamped and cut at this stage.’
    • ‘To make a bolt, a smith clamped the screw plate onto a rod of cold, soft iron and turned it down the rod.’
    • ‘They were clamped in place whilst the resin cured by screwing in bolts.’
    • ‘Use a straight edge and clamp the boards down to make an even, straight cut.’
    • ‘I clamp a steel straight edge in a vise and just draw the surface over the steel edge a few times.’
    • ‘The solution is to clamp a pair of straight-edge boards in place to serve as a saw guide.’
    • ‘All tools should be clamped securely (with the blade up) in a vise before they are filed.’
    fasten, secure, fix, clip, attach, make fast
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Fasten (two things) firmly together.
      ‘the two frames are clamped together’
      • ‘His hands clamped together between his knees, making his knuckles turn white as thoughts tumbled through his head.’
      • ‘I suddenly clamped my lips shut, tried to prevent the intake of air through my nostrils.’
      • ‘I started laughing but it came out like a weird snorting, snuffling sound because my jaws were clamped together.’
      • ‘His hands were clamped together tightly, his knuckles white.’
      • ‘They feature strong serrated jaws which clamp together when the trap is sprung.’
      • ‘My jaw began to ache from how tightly I had clamped my teeth together.’
      • ‘His teeth were so clamped together I wasn't even sure how he spoke.’
      • ‘‘What you mean is that you would like to stay the night’ Raven nodded, lips clamped together tight.’
      • ‘She sucked her lips together like the doors of a lift clamping shut.’
      • ‘His blade hissed, his eyes grew wide, his teeth clamped together in a hard bite that sent a tremor of ache through his jaw.’
      • ‘The wings folded back as the talons clamped together to make feet.’
      • ‘They question ancient rituals performed at the site - such us making a wish for prosperity by clamping two padlocks together and hurling them over the cliff - even as they reenact them.’
      • ‘My hands convulsively clenched, my teeth clamped together, my nostrils flared, my lips curled, and a red mist descended in front of my eyes.’
      • ‘The lip gloss was so sticky you had to keep your mouth open all day, or else your lips would clamp together.’
      • ‘An uncanny silence descended on a school as pupils made a superhuman effort to clamp their lips tightly shut.’
      • ‘Erica sat at her seat hands clamped tightly together staring at the clock.’
      • ‘Milo had his eyes screwed shut in pain, jaw clamped tight shut lest he cried out.’
      • ‘Martina blinks away tears, hardly able to catch her breath with her lips tightly clamped shut.’
      • ‘Spread large rolls thinly with horseradish and thickly with mayonnaise, then pile on the beef, clamp together and eat at once - messily.’
      • ‘I didn't say anything, just led him into the inn, my lips clamped tightly together in disapproval.’
    2. 1.2Hold (something) tightly against or in another thing.
      ‘Maggie had to clamp a hand over her mouth to stop herself from laughing’
      • ‘With pipe clamped firmly between his teeth, Voss presents us with a passive observer simply looking forward to a few days of quiet fishing.’
      • ‘Dominick seemed amused, his teeth firmly clamped around his cigar.’
      • ‘Before I could scream, his had his hand firmly clamped over my mouth.’
      • ‘I tried, clamping my hand onto his arm in a desperate effort to make him understand, but he shrugged me off.’
      • ‘A pair of hands suddenly clamped down on her shoulders, making her jump.’
      • ‘I screamed even louder, and then I felt a hand clamp over my mouth.’
      • ‘Panic washing over her at the realization, she sat back onto her knees and clamped her hands over her ears.’
      • ‘In the infinitesimally small light, I saw Jason bang against the edge, and I clamped a hand over his mouth before he could cry out.’
      • ‘She came running, a stick clamped firmly between her jaws.’
      • ‘Suddenly a hand clamped down over her mouth, preventing her from crying out.’
      • ‘Alex clamped her hand onto Becky's shoulder and began to slow her pace down.’
      • ‘He turned his back, screwed his eyes shut and clamped his hands over his ears.’
      • ‘She opened her mouth to scream, but a hand clamped down over her mouth.’
      • ‘He kept his hand firmly clamped on her wrist so that she would not escape him.’
      • ‘Renae cried trying again to pull away, but Jake's hand remained clamped around her wrist.’
      • ‘He hadn't taken a step, however, before something clamped around his ankle and immobilized him.’
      • ‘And it seems the obligatory pungent cigarette, clamped firmly in the corner of the mouth, is a necessary aid to concentration.’
      • ‘I had an angry beach crab clamped tightly onto my nose.’
      • ‘She clamped a hand onto the other girl's shoulder, catching her breath.’
      • ‘Logan tried to get up, but her hand was clamped very tightly around his arm.’
    3. 1.3Maintain the voltage limits of (an electrical signal) at prescribed values.
      • ‘For good protection, especially for computers, look for a protector with a clamping voltage of less than 400 volts.’
      • ‘Using this circuit, the voltage at V m was clamped with the dSEVC amplifier and measured independently with a second microelectrode amplifier.’
      • ‘A second clamping transistor is connected intermediate the input transistor and a power supply rail and has a gate for receiving an upper clamping voltage.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • clamp down

    • Suppress or prevent something, typically in an oppressive or harsh manner.

      ‘police clamped down on a pro-democracy demonstration’
      • ‘It followed a publicity drive aimed at highlighting tough new laws clamping down on the sale of tobacco to young people under 16.’
      • ‘So let us not forget that there's much power in all of us and the reason why they're clamping down on us is because they're scared of us.’
      • ‘Police across Greater Manchester are clamping down on drivers unfit to be on the road after taking illegal or prescription drugs.’
      • ‘Whatever the case, clamping down on freedom of expression in any of its forms is tantamount to crushing our fledging democracy.’
      • ‘The authorities are clamping down on blogs, which are free sites through which people publish thoughts and opinions.’
      • ‘The government is clamping down fiercely on a popular uprising, which has seen hundreds killed.’
      • ‘Authorities are now clamping down on the cross-border movement of tribal people on both sides of the frontier.’
      • ‘The harder the government clamps down, the more its opponents strike back.’
      • ‘Police say they are determined to clamp down on bikers riding in an anti-social manner, on or off-road.’
      • ‘The government may be clamping down on abuses of the asylum system.’
      • ‘The government was intent on reducing the number of firearms, clamping down on illegal drugs and substance abuse.’
      • ‘She said police were clamping down on those who were speeding.’
      • ‘You may have noticed on the news that in the South the authorities are clamping down on those not wearing seatbelts in the vehicles.’
      • ‘They may be effective at clamping down on speedsters, but if a camera snaps 50 people speeding, a vast amount of follow-up work then has to be done.’
      • ‘While the government is intent on clamping down on truancy, it is preventing other children from attending school with equal vigour.’
      • ‘She is also engaging the help of the public in clamping down on crime and anti-social behaviour and putting more community support officers on the streets.’
      • ‘The GN is also implementing its Tobacco Control Act that regulates the sale of tobacco to those over 19, clamps down on advertising and also restricts smoking in public places and workplaces.’
      • ‘And he warned that police would be clamping down especially hard on speeders over the coming Bank Holiday and extra officers would be deployed.’
      • ‘Marches and demonstrations became increasingly militant, and the Government reacted by clamping down harshly on this civil unrest.’
      • ‘Council chiefs are clamping down on motorists who park on the pavement, blocking the way for wheelchair users and the elderly.’
      suppress, prevent, stop, put a stop to, put an end to, stamp out
      crack down on, come down hard on, limit, restrain, restrict, check, keep in check, control, keep under control
      View synonyms


Middle English: probably of Dutch or Low German origin and related to clam.