• WordNet 3.6
    • v clench squeeze together tightly "clench one's jaw"
    • v clench hold in a tight grasp "clench a steering wheel"
    • n clench 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"
    • n clench a small slip noose made with seizing
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n. & v. t Clench See Clinch.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • clench To nail or fasten.
    • clench To secure or fasten, as a nail, staple, or other metallic fastening, by beating down the point after it has been driven through something; rivet.
    • clench To bring together and set firmly, as the teeth; double up tightly, as the hands.
    • clench To grasp or seize firmly or convulsively; gripe.
    • clench Figuratively, to fix or secure by a finishing touch or blow; confirm, as an argument or an action, in some unanswerable or irresistible way; establish firmly.
    • clench Nautical, to calk slightly with oakum, in anticipation of foul weather.
    • clench To gripe.
    • clench To seize or gripe another, or one another, with a firm grasp or hold, as in wrestling: as, the men clenched.
    • clench To pun.
    • n clench A catch; a grip; a persistent clutch.
    • n clench That which holds fast or clenches; a clencher (or clincher); a holdfast.
    • n clench Nautical, a mode of fastening large ropes, consisting of a half-hitch with the end stopped back to its part by seizings. The outer end of a hawser is bent by a clench to the ring of the anchor.
    • n clench A pun or play on words.
    • n clench A mode of securing a nail, staple, or the like, by turning over the point and hammering back into the wood the portion bent over.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Clench klensh Same as Clinch.
    • v.t Clench to fasten or rivet a nail by bending the point and beating the bent part flat against the object through which the nail was driven: to grasp tightly: to set firmly, as the teeth: to fasten on:
    • v.t Clench (fig.) to drive home an argument: to settle or confirm
    • ***


  • Indira Gandhi
    Indira Gandhi
    “You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.”
  • George Jean Nathan
    “No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Causal form of klink, to strike smartly; Dut. and Ger. klinken, to rivet a bolt.


In literature:

It came again, a sibilant sound, as if out of a throat through clenched teeth.
"The Huntress" by Hulbert Footner
The woman screamed and fell forward on the table, her head buried in her clenched hands.
"A Village of Vagabonds" by F. Berkeley Smith
Corrigan caught his breath; his hands clenched, his face reddened darkly.
"'Firebrand' Trevison" by Charles Alden Seltzer
He bit his lips and struck the saddle-horn fiercely with one clenched fist.
"Shoe-Bar Stratton" by Joseph Bushnell Ames
Her face was full of distress, and her hands lay tightly clenched in her lap.
"'Me-Smith'" by Caroline Lockhart
He uttered a half-stifled cry of pain, releasing her wrist and clenching his fist.
"The Orchard of Tears" by Sax Rohmer
They got a few drops of brandy between the clenched little teeth.
"The Dop Doctor" by Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
She started up with hands clenched.
"The Scarlet Feather" by Houghton Townley
In the laboratory Russ pounded the arm of his chair with a clenched fist.
"Empire" by Clifford Donald Simak
Aymer became suddenly rigid, and lay still with waves of colour rising to and dying from his face, and his hands clenched.
"Christopher Hibbault, Roadmaker" by Marguerite Bryant

In poetry:

The god is scattered here and there: deep
hidden in the windy sand
I saw his giant granite hand still clenched in
impotent despair.
"The Sphinx" by Oscar Wilde
Too pretty, dreamlike mimicry!
O falling fire and piercing cry
and panic, and a weak mailed fist
clenched ignorant against the sky!
"For the Union Dead" by Robert Lowell
And fast amid her fluttering hair,
With clenched fist he gripes,
And seized a leathern thong, and lash'd
Her side with sounding stripes.
"Specimen Of The Former Translation Of The Lass Of Fair Wone" by Charlotte Dacre
Of all the poison plants that grow,
And flourish in the human breast,
No other plant, perhaps, hath so
Deep clench'd a root, or peaceful rest.
"Slander" by Thomas Frederick Young
There hung the rapier blade he wore,
Bent in its flattened sheath;
The coat the shrieking woman tore
Caught in her clenching teeth;—­
"Agnes" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
His dark eye beams, his visage gleams,
His clenched hand--how it trembles!
His fierce blood burns, his mad heart yearns,
His brow the storm resembles.
"Wild Flowers" by Hermann Ferdinand Freiligrath

In news:

The Akron Beacon Journal says to maintain proper form he super glued his hand into a clenched fist.
"Argo" Review: 'Fists Will Be Clenched… Hearts Will Palpitate.
Hours later, I'm still trembling, stomach clenched, mind scrambling to sort out the Möbius-like succession of ideas.
Knuckle push-ups are exactly what they sound like -- push-ups done on fist-clenched knuckles .
On one point Tuesday at Wimbledon, Serena Williams dumped a forehand into the net and dropped to a knee, her jaw clenched as she let out a shriek.
Dropping, rattling , twisting, and flinging riders within an inch of their lives, these mechanical monstrosities deliver the stomach-clenching terror we secretly crave.
After a 7-year hiatus from surfing, Cori Schumacher clenched her third world longboarding title at the Roxy ASP Women's World Longboard Championships last week in Biarritz.
Try the motion with your relaxed wrist and then try it with a clenched fist and your fingers leading your wrist.
To counter that, a performer needs to imbue Mary with the strength and conviction of an independent woman—but Acero is all histrionic screams, clenched fists, furrowed brow and quivering lips.
So when I woke up Monday morning with pain in my teeth, jaw and ear on the right side, I figured I'd been clenching my jaw in my sleep.
Russell Marsden and Emma Richardson, this English trio's guitarist and bassist, take that tendency into The Shining -twins territory, reciting most of their second disc's clenched-teeth lyrics in a sort of deadpan harmony.
The demonstrators' chants resound, rhythmic and rhyming, in Spanish , punctuated by clenched fists raised high.
He may look grey and infirm, but he's packing a million volts of incapacitating, jaw-clenching self-defense.
With only minutes left in Saturday's game against Western Kentucky, the Ragin' Cajuns clenched a win, becoming bowl eligible for the second year in a row.
A demonstrator raises clenched fist during a rally, protesting against restarting the Ohi nuclear power plant's reactors in front of the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo , Saturday, June 16, 2012.