Main definitions of clutch in English

: clutch1clutch2

clutch1

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Grasp or seize (something) tightly or eagerly.

    ‘he stood clutching a microphone’
    no object figurative ‘Mrs. Longhill clutched at the idea’
    • ‘Too scared to speak, she drove, her eyes alternately on the road ahead and the hand clutching the gun.’
    • ‘He sits by the fire at a local hotel clutching the caffeine in one hand and the nicotine in the other.’
    • ‘She yelled back, tightly clutching the seatbelt running diagonally down her chest.’
    • ‘After a short drive around the camp they found a man lying in the bush clutching his leg.’
    • ‘Shadows out of the past clutch at my legs and drag me down.’
    • ‘The crying woman was clutching her cellphone and at first I thought she must be laughing.’
    • ‘His wife, a petite blonde, stands beside him clutching a glass of wine and smiling stiffly.’
    • ‘Standing in the witness box, she clutched her handbag to her body to stop her hands from shaking as she gave her evidence.’
    • ‘An hour later they realised he had returned and was now clutching a knife to his chest.’
    • ‘She was wearing tatty clothes and her grubby hands clutched dozens of plastic bags.’
    • ‘As we stood there awkwardly, clutching our bags, Aunt Rachel gazed at us thoughtfully.’
    • ‘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 it happens, the person at the door was a small man clutching a note book.’
    • ‘Fortunately for me, I surface somehow clutching the rope on the side of the upturned raft.’
    • ‘News photos showed one of the men clutching a grenade; relatives insist it was a mobile phone.’
    • ‘When he is informed that a young woman has arrived at his back door clutching a baby, near panic prevails.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She froze, one hand gripping the doorknob and the other clutching the shawl tightly to her chest.’
    • ‘As he clutched his chest and fell to the ground in pain, he realized the horror of his mistake.’
    • ‘Taking a step back, he felt a cold fear clutch at his chest as he forced himself to breathe.’
    grip, grasp, clasp, cling to, hang on to, clench, hold
    reach for, snatch at, make a grab for, catch at, claw at
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Become nervous and panicked.
      ‘doctors could clutch up and lose control as easily as anyone’
      • ‘It's like clutching up, when you first realize you're having a flashback, instead of trying to relax.’
      • ‘My throat clutched up, and I could feel the tears.’
      • ‘In the older times, you would foul hoping that the fouled player would clutch up and miss the easy shot.’
      • ‘The Guard clutched up in the final seconds, nailing two free throws and giving him 25 points in the game, to secure a victory.’

noun

  • 1A tight grasp or an act of grasping something.

    ‘she made a clutch at his body’
    • ‘She squirmed within his grasp, trying to free herself from his clutch, but it was no use.’
    • ‘I harshly removed my arm from his clutch and yelled, ‘Why are you taking me out here?’’
    • ‘He backed over to the phone, still warm from her clutch.’
    • ‘Extracting himself from his friend's protective clutch, Jack stepped closer to his betrothed and her father.’
    • ‘She dropped her sword because his clutch was so tight, she nearly passed out.’
    • ‘I sighed, as I felt his clutch on my arm getting tighter.’
    • ‘In one desperate clutch at a straw, the company announced that it would start trading in weather!’
    • ‘A great weight released its clutch on our hearts when we discovered that we wouldn't have to do this the entire time.’
    • ‘In the process, the notorious Captain's rapier fell from his clutches to catch a safe fall.’
    • ‘You quickly tighten the clutch, as tight as you dare, then hang on!’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘She attempted to tear out of his grasp once again until she felt his hand tighten in a bone shattering clutch over her wrist.’
    • ‘But as spirits, they could find no clutch on the physical world.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1someone's clutches A person's power or control, especially when perceived as cruel or inescapable.
      ‘she escaped the clutches of her temperamental family’
      • ‘Can they escape the clutches of the next century's power mad phone company?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But I didn't want to fall into the clutches of the local moneylenders.’
      • ‘She moves out, leaving him in the clutches of the two strangers.’
      • ‘The cold clutches of reality gripped her stomach with a death hold as she realized… It was all real.’
      • ‘Smokers are not creatures of habit, smokers are people caught in the clutches of addiction.’
      • ‘No school and I was totally free from the clutches of evil Physics and Chemistry professors.’
      • ‘Even though most males caught in her clutches never saw themselves as poor victims.’
      • ‘The office-bearers have also promised to sustain the movement till the country is freed from the clutches of corruption.’
      • ‘And to force them away from evil clutches would mean fighting the Darkness face to face.’
      power, control, domination, command, mastery, rule, tyranny
      View synonyms
  • 2A mechanism for connecting and disconnecting a vehicle engine from its transmission system.

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

    • ‘Slouchy or hobo handbags remain strong for day, while the clutch reappears for night.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She smiled once more at the reflection her mirror presented, grabbed her red velvet clutch, and left the room.’
    • ‘This vintage-inspired clutch adds a pop of color and excitement to any look.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On her feet were a simple pair of black slides with a 4-inch heel and a sleek black clutch was in her hand.’
    • ‘On her feet were strappy black stilettos, and she was holding onto a matching silver clutch, with a black square clasp.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When she returned, she carried a tiny satin clutch and was smiling brightly.’
    • ‘If you're wearing a plain outfit, choose a bag that will add interest: get a sparkly/beaded/colourful clutch.’
    • ‘I can totally picture someone wearing a dress for a nice night out holding this clutch.’
    • ‘She popped the clasp on her clutch and plucked out her mobile phone.’
    • ‘And of course with the dress, she had to get a pair of black strappy heels and a cute black clutch.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She grabbed her jacket and black clutch as she went to open the door.’

adjective

US
informal
  • 1(in sport) denoting or occurring in 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’
    • ‘His play in the clutch moments of the final three games against the Wild was nowhere near good enough.’
    • ‘"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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Instead, he's trying to go through two or three defenders during clutch times.’
    • ‘He likes being in clutch situations, always the mark of a great player.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Both are making better decisions in clutch situations.’
    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 free-throw shooting’
      • ‘His defense is top tier and he is hitting .286 for the last two weeks with numerous timely clutch hits.’
      • ‘He has defined the word "clutch" for the Steelers, with three turnovers in his last 143 throws.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When the clock winds down and the Nets need a clutch shot, they will turn to their point guard.’
      • ‘QB Tom Brady is as clutch a quarterback as there is.’
      • ‘The New England Patriots quarterback is, as his Denver Broncos counterpart Jake Plummer puts it, "very clutch".’
      • ‘With a series of gutsy chips and clutch putts, Guan notched four birdies and carded a 1-over-par 73.’
      • ‘Barry makes too many clutch plays to be on the bench late in games.’
      • ‘The Cleveland Indians are headed back to the American League Championship Series thanks to some clutch pitching from an unlikely ace.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He's obviously not a "clutch" pitcher.’
      • ‘Espo - he was so clutch for us that whole series.’
      • ‘He's a clutch hitter who makes everyone around him better.’
      • ‘His buzzer-beating, game-winning jumper in Detroit was his latest example of clutch play.’
      • ‘Earlier in his season Valbuena had some clutch hits in key situations.’
      • ‘There's little statistical evidence that "clutch" players exist - that some guys hit disproportionately well in important situations.’
      • ‘So, we have Michael's Greatest Moves, Michael's Greatest Clutch Shots, Michael's Greatest Assists, and of course Michael's Greatest Dunks.’
      • ‘Still, I'd take San Pedro's second finest over any but two of today's "clutch" guards.’

Phrases

  • clutch at straws

  • in the clutch

    • informal At a critical moment.

      ‘why are some athletes able to perform in the clutch while others choke?’
      • ‘Hunte also spoke highly of his two veteran players, Vernon Lewis and Kane Easter, who both came through in the clutch.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's not that robots don't bleed, but more that they don't play hurt, or brawl, or choke in the clutch.’
      • ‘Thank you for coming through in the clutch.’
      • ‘Bryan came through in the clutch when it was needed.’
      • ‘I don't understand how to buy things; I always choke in the clutch.’
      • ‘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.’

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

/klətʃ//kləCH/

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.

    • ‘Once the male has fertilized a clutch of eggs, he carries them in his mouth for one to two weeks, until they hatch.’
    • ‘Seven females produced a replacement clutch soon after the eggs from their first clutches disappeared.’
    • ‘It is not uncommon for the female to be incubating the second clutch while the male is still tending the first.’
    • ‘The female incubates her large clutch, and both parents tend the hatchlings.’
    • ‘Each intrusion was performed when the male was incubating the clutch and his mate was absent.’
    • ‘It would therefore take a single female 40-50 days to lay the maximum clutch that could be incubated.’
    • ‘The females lay small clutches of large eggs.’
    • ‘These females were still observed feeding the fledglings while at the same time incubating their second clutch.’
    • ‘We collected clutches, incubated the eggs, and took blood samples from hatching young.’
    • ‘He attributed increased mortality to inefficient incubation of enlarged clutches, which resulted in more dead embryos.’
    • ‘All males had a similar-sized nest, but egg clutch size in the nests differed.’
    • ‘Many other fish species build nests and fertilize large clutches of eggs externally.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Females lay a single clutch per season, usually of three eggs, in a naturally occurring tree hollow.’
    • ‘The female incubates the clutch of eggs, which can vary from 4 to 6, but usually consists of 5 eggs.’
    • ‘During the three-month breeding season, a female can lay several hundred eggs in a number of separate clutches.’
    • ‘In fact, in five out of the seven cases the replacement clutch was laid in a different territory.’
    • ‘Clutches of eggs from individual females were collected, and each clutch was split in half.’
    group, batch, nestful
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A brood of chicks.
      • ‘More than one clutch per season is often produced.’
      • ‘Almost 10,000 clutches of chicks were purchased for families in Central America.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Later, three juveniles from this clutch were banded and genetically sampled.’
      • ‘Often the breeding pair reproduces again the same year, therefore producing a second clutch.’
      • ‘Some pairs raise two clutches in a single season.’
      • ‘In recent years the school has been able to sponsor goats, rabbits and clutches of chickens for needy families in African countries.’
      • ‘You can have a clutch of chicks, a clutter of cats, and a sleuth of bears, if anyone was wondering.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2 A small group of people or things.
      ‘a clutch of young girls on roller skates’
      • ‘Today, thanks to the professional services offered by a clutch of landscape artists, gardening has assumed an altogether different dimension.’
      • ‘I was surrounded by a clutch of girls and young men - my sisters and brothers.’
      • ‘Both short films won a clutch of awards at international festival level.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His unforgettable lead performance has already earned him a clutch of awards, including a Best Actor Oscar nomination.’
      • ‘But the beaches are superb and have attracted a small clutch of top-class hotels.’
      • ‘A clutch of business figures pondered which Scottish companies - outside the whisky firms - could be genuinely described as global.’
      • ‘On the next wall, there is a clutch of figurative drawings from the early 1990s, some beautifully conceived and others unwieldy and amateurish.’
      • ‘The students have picked up a clutch of medals at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show.’
      • ‘This story appeared as one of a rotating clutch of stories under the the exciting group heading ‘Other News’.’
      • ‘The staff remain fiercely proud of their product, which has won a clutch of awards.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The champion cyclist had carried off a clutch of medals, awards and commendations, and been named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.’
      • ‘If you like jazz, head for the clutch of famous late-night bars - you can blow your mind away until dawn.’
      • ‘Despite having won a clutch of literary prizes and being regarded as an elder statesman of letters, he eschews the label of ‘celebrity’.’
      • ‘A clutch of girls bring her into the shop for bandages and comfort, and the normally slow, deliberative Michael finds himself supplying both.’
      • ‘The company has recruited a clutch of senior managers from car manufacturers.’
      • ‘One of a clutch of forthcoming movies is Prime, about an older woman who falls in love with a much younger man.’
      • ‘In December he makes a welcome return to the venue with a clutch of songs guaranteed to put smiles on faces.’
      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

/klətʃ//kləCH/