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clutch 1

v. clutched, clutch·ing, clutch·es
1. To grasp and hold tightly: a child clutching a blanket.
2. To seize; snatch: clutched the banana from my hand.
1. To attempt to grasp or seize: clutch at a life raft.
2. To engage or disengage a motor vehicle's clutch.
1. A hand, claw, talon, or paw in the act of grasping.
2. A tight grasp.
3. often clutches Control or power: caught in the clutches of sin.
4. A device for gripping and holding.
a. Any of various devices for engaging and disengaging two working parts of a shaft or of a shaft and a driving mechanism.
b. The apparatus, such as a lever or pedal, that activates one of these devices.
6. A tense, critical situation: came through in the clutch.
7. A small, strapless purse that is carried in the hand.
adj. Informal
1. Being or occurring in a tense or critical situation: won the championship by sinking a clutch putt.
2. Tending to be successful in tense or critical situations: The coach relied on her clutch pitcher.
clutchat straws
To search in desperation for a solution to a difficulty.

[Middle English clucchen, variant of clicchen, from Old English clyccan; probably akin to Swedish klyka, crotch (of a tree), place where something branches.]

clutch 2

1. The complete set of eggs produced or incubated at one time.
2. A brood of chickens.
3. A group; a bunch.
tr.v. clutched, clutch·ing, clutch·es
To hatch (chicks).

[Variant of dialectal cletch; akin to Middle English clekken, to hatch, from Old Norse klekja.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.clutches - the act of graspingclutches - the act of grasping; "he released his clasp on my arm"; "he has a strong grip for an old man"; "she kept a firm hold on the railing"
choke hold, chokehold - a restraining hold; someone loops the arm around the neck of another person in a tight grip, usually from behind; "he grabbed the woman in a chokehold, demanded her cash and jewelry, and then fled"
embrace, embracement, embracing - the act of clasping another person in the arms (as in greeting or affection)
prehension, taking hold, grasping, seizing - the act of gripping something firmly with the hands (or the tentacles)
wrestling hold - a hold used in the sport of wrestling
References in classic literature ?
We stopped there by the way, and there was no getting my wife out of their clutches.
The little green god of jealousy has Tom in his clutches.
Commonly, after seeing the harpooneers furnished with all things they demanded, he would escape from their clutches into his little pantry adjoining, and fearfully peep out at them through the blinds of its door, till all was over.
He walked back discontentedly; and so fell into his father's clutches, totally unprepared for the pending announcement, in that formidable quarter, of his departure for London.
Thus it was that we parted without explanation: she waving her hand and smiling farewell from the coach window; her evil genius writhing on the roof, as if he had her in his clutches and triumphed.
Thou mayst, I think, succeed in taking her from her Saxon friends, but how thou wilt rescue her afterwards from the clutches of Bois-Guilbert seems considerably more doubtful He is a falcon well accustomed to pounce on a partridge, and to hold his prey fast.
For I have already told the reader how much I was pestered by these odious animals, upon my first arrival; and I afterwards failed very narrowly, three or four times, of falling into their clutches, when I happened to stray at any distance without my hanger.
The rhinoceros fights with the elephant, and transfixing him with his horn carries him off upon his head, but becoming blinded with the blood of his enemy, he falls helpless to the ground, and then comes the roc, and clutches them both up in his talons and takes them to feed his young.
But Robin is too smart to get within the Sheriff's clutches again.
Since we had entered the territory we had not seen a hostile Indian, and we had, therefore, become careless in the extreme, and were wont to ridicule the stories we had heard of the great numbers of these vicious marauders that were supposed to haunt the trails, taking their toll in lives and torture of every white party which fell into their merciless clutches.
Smallpox laid its hideous clutches upon him; leaving him unspeakably branded with its repulsive marks.
But I had my hand on the climbing bars now, and, kicking violently, I disengaged myself from the clutches of the Morlocks and was speedily clambering up the shaft, while they stayed peering and blinking up at me: all but one little wretch who followed me for some way, and wellnigh secured my boot as a trophy.