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tr.v. clenched, clench·ing, clench·es
1. To close tightly: clench one's teeth; clenched my fists in anger.
2. To grasp or grip tightly: clenched the steering wheel.
3. To clinch (a bolt, for example).
1. A tight grip or grasp.
2. Something, such as a mechanical device, that clenches or holds fast.

[Middle English clenchen, from Old English -clencan (in beclencan, to hold fast).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.clenched - closed or squeezed together tightly; "a clenched fist"; "his clenched (or clinched) teeth"
tight - closely constrained or constricted or constricting; "tight skirts"; "he hated tight starched collars"; "fingers closed in a tight fist"; "a tight feeling in his chest"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Her hands were clenched till the nails dented the palms, and her body was rigid in her passionate effort for control.
For all the world like a woman wringing her hands, he raised his clenched fists and groaned.
Simon Nishikanta was fiendish in his descriptions of whatever miscreant had done the deed and of how he should be made to suffer for it, while Grimshaw clenched and repeatedly clenched his great hands as if throttling some throat.
His face was ghastly pale; his eyes were fixed upon the ground; his teeth clenched: his forehead glistened with the dews of agony.
Singer seized a brush and with the back of it beat Philip's hands clenched on the blanket.
A woman wearing the same kind of clothes as people in other houses wear, told us to go up to the second floor, and she grinned at David, as if she had heard about him; so up we went, David muttering through his clenched teeth, "I sha'n't laugh," and as soon as we knocked a voice called out, "Here we are again!" at which a shudder passed through David as if he feared that he had set himself an impossible task.
She stood up, her eyes blazing, her hands clenched together.
"Then 'ere's the ticker!" The boy pointed to the clenched hand of the senseless woman.
His flashing eyes, his clenched hands, his trembling lips, told us of the tumultuous feelings by which he was being agitated.
Sikes looked with an aspect of great perplexity into the Jew's face, and reading no satisfactory explanation of the riddle there, clenched his coat collar in his huge hand and shook him soundly.
He would write for a while, then sit idle, his clenched fist lying on the table, his eyes following the pattern of the oilcloth.
As this glad ship of good luck bore down upon the moody Pequod, the barbarian sound of enormous drums came from her forecastle; and drawing still nearer, a crowd of her men were seen standing round her huge try-pots, which, covered with the parchment-like poke or stomach skin of the black fish, gave forth a loud roar to every stroke of the clenched hands of the crew.