American English

Definition of clutch noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] the pedal in a car or other vehicle that you press with your foot so that you can change gear Put your foot on the clutch. Topic CollocationsDrivinghaving a car have/own a car ride a motorcycle/moped/scooter drive/use/prefer an automatic/a manual/a stick shift have/get your car fixed/repaired/looked at buy/sell a used car take/pass/fail a driver's test/road test/knowledge test get/obtain/have/lose/carry a/your driver's license/learner's permitdriving put on/fasten/buckle/wear/undo your seat belt put/turn/leave the key in the ignition start the car/engine change/shift gears shift/put the car into gear/neutral/drive/park press/put your foot on the brake pedal/clutch/accelerator release the clutch/the emergency brake/the parking brake drive/park/reverse the car signal that you are turning left/right take/miss the turn apply/hit/slam on the brake(s) beep/honk your hornproblems and accidents a car skids/crashes (into something)/collides (with something) swerve to avoid an oncoming car/a pedestrian crash/lose control of the car have/be in/be killed in/survive a (car) crash/a (car) wreck/an accident/a hit-and-run be run over/hit by a car/bus/truck dent/hit the hood/trunk/door/side panel/bumper/fender break/crack/shatter the windshield blow/puncture a tire get/have a flat tire inflate/change/replace/check a tiretraffic and driving regulations be caught in/get stuck in/sit in a traffic jam cause congestion/traffic jams/gridlock/backups experience/face lengthy delays beat/avoid the traffic/the rush hour exceed/observe/drive the speed limit be caught by a speed camera stop somebody for/pull somebody over for speeding (informal) run a red light/the lights be arrested for/charged with drunk driving/driving under the influence (DUI)/driving while intoxicated (DWI) be banned from driving have your license suspended/taken away/ (informal) pulled
  2. 2[countable] a device in a machine that connects and disconnects working parts, especially the engine and the gears The car needs a new clutch.
  3. 3a clutch of something [singular] a group of people, animals, or things He's won a whole clutch of awards.
  4. 4clutches [plural] (informal) power or control He managed to escape from their clutches. Now that she had him in her clutches, she wasn't going to let go.
  5. 5[countable, usually singular] a tight hold on someone or something synonym grip (figurative) She felt the sudden clutch of fear.
  6. 6[countable] a group of eggs that a bird lays at one time; the young birds that come out of a group of eggs at the same time
  7. 7[countable] = clutch bag
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: clutch