v. clinched, clinch·ing, clinch·es
a. To fix or secure (a nail or bolt, for example) by bending down or flattening the pointed end that protrudes.
b. To fasten together in this way.
2. To settle definitely and conclusively; make final: "The cocktail circuit is a constant and more contracts are clinched over pâté than over paper" (Ann L. Trebbe).
3. Sports To secure (a divisional championship, for instance) before the end of regular season play by having an insurmountable lead.
4. To fasten with a clinch knot.
1. To be held together securely.
2. Sports To hold a boxing opponent's body with one or both arms to prevent or hinder punches.
3. Slang To embrace amorously.
1. Something, such as a clamp, that clinches.
2. The clinched part of a nail, bolt, or rivet.
3. Sports An act or instance of clinching in boxing.
4. A clinch knot.
5. Slang An amorous embrace.
[Variant of CLENCH.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.