English

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

     

    clutch

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//klʌtʃ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//klʌtʃ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they clutch
    BrE BrE//klʌtʃ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//klʌtʃ//
     
    he / she / it clutches
    BrE BrE//ˈklʌtʃɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈklʌtʃɪz//
     
    past simple clutched
    BrE BrE//klʌtʃt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//klʌtʃt//
     
    past participle clutched
    BrE BrE//klʌtʃt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//klʌtʃt//
     
    -ing form clutching
    BrE BrE//ˈklʌtʃɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈklʌtʃɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] to hold somebody/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 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
  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. 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
  3. Word Originverb Middle English (in the sense ‘bend, crook’): variant of obsolete clitch ‘close the hand’, from Old English clyccan ‘crook, clench’, of Germanic origin.Extra examples He fell back, clutching his chest in agony. He felt himself slipping and clutched at a branch. Her hands clutched the railing. She clutched her handbag tightly in one hand. She clutched the letter to her chest. He gasped, and clutched his stomach. I clutched onto the chair for support.Idioms 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 Verbscatch at somebody
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: clutch

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