American English

Definition of clutch verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

     

    clutch

     verb
    verb
    NAmE//klʌtʃ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they clutch
     
    he / she / it clutches
     
    past simple clutched
     
    -ing form clutching
     
     
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  1. 1 [transitive, intransitive] to hold someone or something tightly synonym grip clutch something (+ adv./prep.) He clutched the child to him. She stood there, the flowers still clutched in her hand. + adv./prep. I clutched on to the chair for support Thesaurusholdhold on cling clutch grip grasp clasp hang onThese words all mean to have something or someone in your hands or arms.hold to have something or someone in your hand or arms:She was holding a large box. I held the baby gently in my arms.hold on (to somebody/something) to continue to hold something or someone; to put your hand on something or someone and not take your hand away:Hold on and don't let go until I say so.cling to hold on to something or someone tightly, especially with your whole body:Survivors clung to pieces of floating debris.clutch to hold something or someone tightly, especially in your hand; to take hold of something suddenly:She stood there, the flowers still clutched in her hand. He felt himself slipping and clutched at a branch.grip to hold on to something very tightly with your hand:Grip the rope as tightly as you can.grasp to take hold of something firmly:He grasped my hand and shook it warmly.clasp (formal) to hold something or someone tightly in your hand or in your arms:They clasped hands (= held each other's hands). She clasped the children to her breast. The object of clasp is often your hands, someone else's hand, or another person.hang on (to something) to hold on to something very tightly, especially in order to support yourself or stop yourself from falling:Hang on to the safety rope in case you slip and fall.Patterns to hold/clutch/grip/clasp something in your hand/hands to hold/clasp somebody/something in your arms to hold/hang on to something to hold/cling/hang on to hold/clutch/clasp somebody/something to you to hold/hold on to/cling to/clutch/grip/grasp/clasp/hang on to somebody/something tightly to hold/hold on to/cling to/clutch/grip/grasp/clasp somebody/something firmly to hold/hold on to/clutch/grip/clasp/hang on to somebody/something tight
  2. 2[transitive, intransitive] to take hold of something suddenly, because you are afraid or in pain clutch something He gasped and clutched his stomach. clutch at somebody/something (figurative) Fear clutched at her heart. note at hold
  3. Idioms
    clutch/grasp at straws
     
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    to try all possible means to find a solution or some hope in a difficult or unpleasant situation, even though this seems very unlikely I know I'm just clutching at straws here, but is it possible that the doctors are wrong?
    Phrasal Verbsclutch/catch at something/somebody
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: clutch