- 1clasp something to hold something tightly in your hand He leaned forward, his hands clasped tightly together. They clasped hands (= held each other's hands). I stood there, clasping the door handle. Synonymsholdhold on cling clutch grip grasp clasp hang onThese words all mean to have somebody/something in your hands or arms.hold to have somebody/something 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 somebody/something; to put your hand on somebody/something and not take your hand away:Hold on and don’t let go until I say so.cling to hold on to somebody/something tightly, especially with your whole body:Survivors clung to pieces of floating debris.clutch to hold somebody/something 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. The object of grasp is often somebody’s hand or wrist.clasp (formal) to hold somebody/something tightly in your hand or in your arms:They clasped hands (= held each other’s hands). She clasped the children in her arms. The object of clasp is often your hands, somebody 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 tight. We’re off!Patterns to hold/clutch/grip/clasp something in your hand/hands to hold/catch/clasp somebody/something in your arms to hold/clutch/grip/grasp/clasp/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
- 2clasp somebody/something to hold somebody/something tightly with your arms around them She clasped the children in her arms. He clasped her to him. She clasped her arms tightly around him.
- 3clasp something (+ adv./prep.) to fasten something with a clasp She clasped the bracelet around her wrist. Word Origin Middle English: of unknown origin.Extra examples He clasped her arm and spun her about. He clasped my hand warmly in welcome. She clasped her bag tightly as she walked through the crowd. She faced Will, her hands clasped together. He clasped her to him. They clasped hands.
BrE BrE//klɑːsp//; NAmE NAmE//klæsp//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they clasp
BrE BrE//klɑːsp//; NAmE NAmE//klæsp//he / she / it clasps
BrE BrE//klɑːsps//; NAmE NAmE//klæsps//past simple clasped
BrE BrE//klɑːspt//; NAmE NAmE//klæspt//past participle clasped
BrE BrE//klɑːspt//; NAmE NAmE//klæspt//-ing form clasping
BrE BrE//ˈklɑːspɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈklæspɪŋ//