Definition of clutch noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//klʌtʃ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//klʌtʃ//
    Groups of animals, Parts of a car
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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. CollocationsDrivingHaving a car have/​own/(British English) run a car ride a motorcycle/​motorbike drive/​prefer/​use an automatic/​a manual/(North American English, informal) a stick shift have/​get your car serviced/​fixed/​repaired buy/​sell a used car/(especially British English) a second-hand car take/​pass/​fail a (British English) driving test/(both North American English) driver’s test/​road test get/​obtain/​have/​lose/​carry a/​your (British English) driving licence/(North American English) driver’s licenseDriving put on/​fasten/(North American English) buckle/​wear/​undo your seat belt/​safety belt put/​turn/​leave the key in the ignition start the car/​engine (British English) change/(North American English) shift/​put something into gear press/​put your foot on the brake pedal/​clutch/​accelerator release the clutch/(especially British English) the handbrake/(both North American English) the emergency brake/​the parking brake drive/​park/​reverse the car (British English) indicate left/​right (especially North American English) signal that you are turning left/​right take/​miss (British English) the turning/(especially North American English) the turn apply/​hit/​slam on the brake(s) beep/​honk/(especially British English) toot/(British English) sound 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 accident/(North American English) a car wreck/​a hit-and-run be run over/​knocked down by a car/​bus/​truck dent/​hit (British English) the bonnet/(North American English) the hood break/​crack/​shatter (British English) the windscreen/(North American English) the windshield blow/(especially British English) burst/​puncture (British English) a tyre/(North American English) a tire get/​have (British English) a flat tyre/​a flat tire/​a puncture inflate/​change/​fit/​replace/​check a tyre/​tire Traffic and driving regulations be caught in/​get stuck in/​sit in a traffic jam cause congestion/​tailbacks/​traffic jams/​gridlock experience/​face lengthy delays beat/​avoid the traffic/​the rush hour break/​observe/(North American English) drive the speed limit be caught on (British English) a speed camera stop somebody for/​pull somebody over for/(British English, informal) be done for speeding (both informal) run/(British English) jump a red light/​the lights be arrested for/​charged with (British English) drink-driving/(both US English) driving under the influence (DUI)/driving while intoxicated (DWI) be banned/(British English) disqualified from driving See related entries: Parts of a car
  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 somebody/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 See related entries: Groups of animals
  7. 7[countable] (especially North American English) = clutch bag
  8. Word Originnoun senses 1 to 2 and noun senses 4 to 5 noun sense 7 Middle English (in the sense ‘bend, crook’): variant of obsolete clitch ‘close the hand’, from Old English clyccan ‘crook, clench’, of Germanic origin. noun sense 3 and noun sense 6 early 18th cent.: probably a southern variant of northern English dialect cletch, related to Middle English cleck ‘to hatch’, from Old Norse klekja.Extra examples Put it into first gear and let the clutch out slowly. She fell into the clutches of the rebel forces. The driver at the traffic lights was riding his clutch. They had him in their clutches. The female lays a clutch of about seven eggs, laying one egg each day.Idioms
    in the clutch (North American English, informal)
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    at a critical moment Why are some athletes able to perform in the clutch while others fail? Bryan came through in the clutch when it was needed.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: clutch