Definition of clasp in US English:

clasp

verb

[with object]
  • 1Grasp (something) tightly with one's hand.

    ‘he clasped her arm’
    • ‘"You have to be joking! " she laughs loudly, clasping his shoulder.’
    • ‘Closing his eyes tightly, he clasped his head in his hands in deep regret.’
    • ‘She put down her book, leaned back, and clasped the paper-knife tightly in both hands.’
    • ‘Cradle it like a small bird or clasp it tightly like a squirming cat.’
    • ‘He clasped her hand tightly and she was immediately fond of his firm, warm grip that felt as if it fit like a glove.’
    • ‘The blond man stared down at the bottle clasped gently between his hands.’
    • ‘She nestled happily in the curve of his arm, clasping his hand between hers.’
    • ‘She pushed it open without hesitation and still clasping my arm, dragged me inside.’
    • ‘Quickly grabbing her stuff and clasping the key tightly in her hand she ran upstairs and went to the room at the end of the corridor.’
    • ‘She clasped it tightly in her brown fist, and grinned in satisfaction.’
    • ‘Closing her eyes, she sat, cross legged, fingers clasping an emerald green pendant.’
    • ‘He slid his hand down her arm until he could clasp her hand.’
    • ‘I clasped the shampoo bottle tightly and squeezed a small portion out of it and slowly worked it in my hair.’
    • ‘He leaned close, clasping the horse's mane as tightly as he could without harming the horse.’
    • ‘I clasped Kyle's hand tightly as we headed towards the front door.’
    • ‘Snapping out my arm, I clasped the narrow wood between my fingers.’
    • ‘He again turned from me, but this time, he reached out and clasped my hand tightly as he walked.’
    • ‘He bent down on one knee, once again clasping my shoulders tightly.’
    • ‘As they tightly clasped the bewildering ballot papers bearing the names of 111 parties across the country, some shed tears of joy, some danced in the streets.’
    • ‘She clasped the sword tightly and started to walk back to the tavern.’
    grasp, grip, clutch, hold tightly, hang on to, cling to
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    1. 1.1 Place (one's arms) around something so as to hold it tightly.
      ‘Kate's arms were clasped around her knees’
      • ‘My mother danced with the captain, clasped to his big chest.’
      • ‘She stayed there, facing away from him, the book clasped to her chest.’
      • ‘He caught my interest and I listened closely, my arms clasping tighter around his shoulders.’
      • ‘She clasped her arms around her legs, peering up at the man.’
      • ‘Katherine moaned and clasped her arms around her son, pushing his dark hair away from his face.’
      • ‘He climbed down over her, and somehow she twisted enough to clasp her arms about his middle.’
      • ‘She pulled her knees to her chest and clasped her arms around her shins.’
      • ‘One of his arms is clasped around my waist, the other one resting on my shoulder.’
    2. 1.2 Hold (someone) tightly.
      ‘he clasped Joanne in his arms’
      • ‘The boy buried his face onto his father's shoulder and clasped him around the neck tightly.’
      • ‘In one panel, gray smoke meanders around one of the girls and congeals into a pair of hands clasping her about the waist.’
      • ‘I clasped her gently by the shoulders and placed a kiss on her scowling brow.’
      • ‘She clasped him in her arms and cried, waterfalls of tears spilling on his face and neck.’
      • ‘I have no doubt that all of us were responding to an atavistic impulse to clasp someone when we felt threatened.’
      • ‘Here, the waves are strong enough to fight back, lifting you up and then spitting you out as they break, the undercurrent clasping you again and again, leaving no time to recover before it returns to grab and crash once more.’
      • ‘Then she clasped him by the waist, and they swept toward Earth.’
      • ‘And I was taken in immediate surprise when I was suddenly clasped and instantly kissed.’
      • ‘Both action and adventure lay around each and every corner, and, in the end, curiosity clasps you and before you knew it, you had been everywhere and completed the game.’
      • ‘He clasped me in a rough hug as I stood from picking up my bags.’
      • ‘His hands begin to wander the length of her body and she clasps him around the neck to give him one more heated kiss before he continues his ‘work’.’
      • ‘I bumped into Eric who clasped me in a tight manly hug.’
      • ‘So I said I had to go and he clasped me in his musty arms and told me I was an incredible person with a fierce inner light of joy.’
      • ‘If that didn't work - and it usually didn't - she'd clasp you to her bosom and try to hug you into submission.’
      • ‘She clasped him tightly to her and jumped off.’
      • ‘She screamed and thrashed about, but he clasped her in his arms and beat the fire on her hands out with his coat.’
      • ‘She clasped me in her arms and the coldness encapsulated me like a fog.’
      • ‘Jack clasped Maria in his arms and held her to him, kissing her.’
      • ‘Shrieking with excitement she hugged her father, clasping him tightly in her thrilled rush.’
      • ‘‘Yes,’ she whispers, moving forward until she's clasping him in an embrace.’
      embrace, hug, enfold, fold, enclose, envelop, wrap
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    3. 1.3clasp one's hands Press one's hands together with the fingers interlaced.
      ‘he lay on his back with his hands clasped behind his head’
      • ‘She clasped her hands together under her chin and leaned forward through the rising steam of her coffee.’
      • ‘The principal clasped his hands together; he sat behind a mahogany desk in a swivel chair.’
      • ‘She straightened and nodded, clasping her hands together behind her back.’
      • ‘He got down beside me, clasping his hands together behind his neck.’
      • ‘Eventually we were saved by Bill, who walked in and clasped his hands together, in readiness for his announcement.’
      • ‘She shifted her weight back and forth clasping her hands together behind her back.’
      • ‘Elizabeth clasped her hands together behind her back and walked in a full circle around the buggy, looking it up and down from all angles before she answered.’
      • ‘Dapper in grey pinstripes, the only one of those assembled sporting anything like a tan, he clasps his hands together.’
      • ‘Then he clasped his hands together and continued.’
      • ‘David clasped his hands together and smiled piously.’
  • 2archaic Fasten (something) with a small device, typically a metal one.

    ‘one modest emerald clasped her robe’
    • ‘He carefully undid it, then in one quick, violent motion, clasped it as tightly as it would go.’
    • ‘But even so I clasped the necklace around my neck and smiled happily.’
    • ‘For posterity I'd clasped the necklace Lily had given me around my neck.’
    • ‘He grasped her wrist and clasped the bracelet around it.’
    • ‘A while silk scarf was wrapped around her shoulders, and a jade pendant was clasped around her neck.’
    fasten, fix, secure, clamp, bolt, rivet, lash, make fast, nail down, seal, tether
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noun

  • 1A device with interlocking parts used for fastening things together.

    ‘a handbag with a golden clasp’
    • ‘At each shoulder was a silver clasp in the shape of a star.’
    • ‘She slid the lid over them and wanted to fasten the clasp.’
    • ‘She finally unhooked the clasp and threw the necklace across the room.’
    • ‘Credentials were sent in an envelope held shut by a single metal clasp.’
    • ‘Carefully he wrapped his heavy traveling cloak over his shoulders and fastened the neck clasp.’
    • ‘She placed a finger gently on its golden clasp and opened it.’
    • ‘His hands hurried to undo the clasp of his cloak and spread it out on the grass.’
    • ‘For a shorter necklace, you may attach a clasp at the top of the necklace.’
    • ‘I removed my cloak, that had a metal clasp, and my wristwatch.’
    • ‘One of my favorite albums, just barely held together with a gold clasp, is no bigger than my palm.’
    • ‘Attach the clasp to one end of the bracelet.’
    • ‘The clasp was golden and she loved the sound of it when she clicked it open, or clicked it shut.’
    • ‘Pulling up a chair, I sat down and pushed up the gold clasp.’
    • ‘She brushed past him, fingers working at the clasp of her deep green cloak.’
    • ‘She held the clasps of the necklace up.’
    • ‘He unhooked the clasps and allowed the mask to fall down.’
    • ‘She was short but pretty, her black hair pulled up neatly in a bun and fastened together with clasps made of gold.’
    • ‘I arched my back and redid the clasp of my bra.’
    • ‘Buttons hadn't been invented in the 5th century so sleeves were held together with elaborate bronze clasps, and at last there was an explanation for the ivory rings.’
    • ‘A white kilt was wrapped around his waist, with a large gold clasp in the front.’
    fastener, fastening, catch, clip, pin
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    1. 1.1 A silver bar on a medal ribbon, inscribed with the name of the battle at which the wearer was present.
      • ‘A General Service medal with a clasp bearing the campaign's name will be struck.’
      • ‘The Queen has given Royal Assent to the issuing of a General Service Medal with a special clasp for veterans who served in Egypt from 1951-54.’
      • ‘He was awarded the Crimean War Medal, three clasps and the Turkish Crimean War Medal.’
      • ‘In 1966 he was awarded an MBE and, on the same day, an Air Efficiency Award with two clasps for his service to the Air Force.’
      • ‘He was conspicuous also for being the only recruit with three long service badges and a long service medal with clasp!’
      • ‘He saw active service in the Crimean War as paymaster on HMS Gladiator, being awarded the Crimean War Medal, clasp Sevastapol.’
      • ‘The medal features four clasps each bearing the names of battle honours awarded for action at Vittoria, St Sebastian, Nivelle and Nive.’
      • ‘Why is it then that recipients have to wait for periods any greater than one month to receive their medal or clasp?’
      • ‘Once engraved, the medals and/or clasps are sent to commanders for presentation.’
  • 2in singular An embrace.

    • ‘What is the carefully mussed actor trying to work out exactly, sulking from exotic blonde embrace to manly clasp?’
    • ‘I purposely put in all those big words because I hoped while he was figuring them out, I could get out of his very tight clasp.’
    • ‘They were so close their bodies were touching, embraced in a clasp.’
    embrace, hug, cuddle, hold, squeeze
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    1. 2.1 A grasp or handshake.
      ‘he took her hand in a firm clasp’
      • ‘When she moved to walk away, she felt Robert's gentle yet firm clasp enfold her hand.’
      • ‘His own fear, however, clutched at his gut, seizing him with its iron clasp.’
      • ‘Robert shook it, immediately appreciating the firm clasp.’
      • ‘He accepted her gloved hand to give it a quick and firm clasp.’
      • ‘She grasped his hand in a firm clasp, and he was surprised to find hard calluses on her palm, like those gained off hard work with ship and sword.’
      • ‘He reached out and gripped my arm in an iron clasp.’
      grip, hold
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Phrases

  • clasp hands

    • Shake hands with fervor or affection.

      • ‘‘I really appreciate for the help, man,’ he told the plumber, clasping hands with him before he showed the way out.’
      • ‘He moved to her side and they clasped hands, allowing themselves to shake for just this time.’
      • ‘Men arriving at the embassy in the morning smiled widely, clasped hands and then pulled together in long embraces.’
      • ‘She watches the men clasp hands, again taken aback by a display of obvious affection for her father.’
      • ‘Women often tied their veils together so as not to get lost, or clasped hands in an unyielding grip that made it impossible to pass through a group in closed formation.’
      • ‘But surely the portrayal of a man and woman clasping hands in such a room signifies something more.’
      • ‘Hearing their sentences, the defendants smiled at each other and clasped hands.’
      • ‘Elderly folk emerging from a meeting on the beaches late last month clasped hands and insisted, ‘We are all New Zealanders.’’
      • ‘Their turn came, and they walked to meet at the centre of the stage, clasping hands as they took their bows.’
      • ‘They clasped hands and patted each other's backs.’

Origin

Middle English: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

clasp

/klæsp//klasp/