Definition of clench in English:

clench

verb

  • 1(with reference to the fingers or hand) close into a tight ball, especially as a manifestation of extreme anger.

    with object ‘she clenched her fists, struggling for control’
    no object ‘Ian's right hand clenched into a fist’
    • ‘His eyes danced with anger and he had his fingers clenched into a tight ball.’
    • ‘His fingers convulsively clenched into fists for an instant before he forced his tense muscles to relax.’
    • ‘His face twisted into furry and his hands clenched into tight fists.’
    • ‘Kane stood stock still for a moment, hands clenched into tight fists, shaking slightly in rage, before he carried on walking.’
    • ‘She watched Hecate with bated breath, her hands clenched into tight fists.’
    • ‘Her fingers clenched into fists at her sides as the tears streamed down her face.’
    • ‘His fists were clenched into tight balls by his side.’
    • ‘I can feel my fists clenching into tight balls at my side.’
    • ‘His left hand clenched into a fist, drawing it closer to his face.’
    • ‘Kathleen's weak fingers that Mrs. Noble had forced down clenched into a shaking fist as her nails dug into the rough skin of her palm.’
    • ‘The slender fingers with long nails clenched into tightly squeezed fists, her pale hands starting to turn red.’
    • ‘She's all but quivering in anger, her green eyes bright with anger and her hands clenched into small fists.’
    • ‘Within hours her hands, previously clenched into fists, had begun to open.’
    • ‘His hands clenched into fists by his side, annoyed by yet another lecture.’
    • ‘He wasn't at all surprised to see that her hands had been clenched into fists.’
    • ‘Rard had his hands clenched into fists and he was infuriated.’
    • ‘One hand clenched into an agitated fist, Lain rubbed her temples wearily with the other.’
    • ‘Tahr lurched back until she was almost at the edge of the arena, her left hand clenched into a fist and tucked under her right arm.’
    • ‘His fists clenched tighter than they ever had, his arms clung close to his stomach in agony.’
    • ‘He let out a small whimper but stood his ground, hands clenched into shaking fists.’
    • ‘He was visibly nervous, with his hands clenched and his body rocking slowly from one side to the other.’
    firm, fast, secure, fixed, clenched, clinched
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    1. 1.1(with reference to the teeth) press or be pressed tightly together, especially with anger or determination or so as to suppress a strong emotion.
      with object ‘he clenched his teeth, fighting waves of nausea’
      no object ‘her teeth clenched in anger’
      • ‘He said furiously through teeth that were clenched tightly together.’
      • ‘I could see that his teeth were clenched with suppressed emotion; tears or anger I couldn't tell.’
      • ‘It's enough to leave you breathless - if you could forget the obsession with an air-giving hose clenched tightly between your teeth.’
      • ‘My teeth clenched together and I couldn't help but frown.’
      • ‘My teeth clenched together, and my heart found a very comfortable spot in the throat where it pounded like galloping horses.’
      • ‘Her lips were spread back from her teeth, which were clenched together.’
      • ‘Gripping her shoulders, Joyce clenched together her teeth and looked into Sibyl's eyes.’
      • ‘Unable to really listen to her, I merely nodded, teeth still clenched together in torment.’
      • ‘And she turned back, leaving the man on the street, her teeth clenched together.’
      • ‘He distorted his features to her secret terror, her teeth clenched together behind confused lips.’
      • ‘She ground out between her teeth, which were clenched together like twin traps of steel.’
      • ‘My teeth clenched tightly, as I swung my head away from looking at him.’
      • ‘Shumba gritted out through clenched teeth, his features dark and angry.’
      • ‘His mouth closed again; his teeth clenched in anger and a willful battle against the tears threatening to build in his eyes.’
      • ‘Altair situated himself in the saddle and let out a sigh through clenched teeth, taking the reins tightly.’
      • ‘That said, I am sure that they will be taking their soup through clenched teeth.’
      • ‘Jack the heroic doctor is tending to the terminally injured Marshal, who through clenched teeth is trying to tell him something about Kate.’
      • ‘Then he fell back on the bed and tossed about as though he was in the throes of a poison, muttering through clenched teeth.’
      • ‘She clenched her teeth in anger, her eyes stinging with the sweat.’
      • ‘Ilantar clenched his teeth in anger, but tried not to let his emotion show.’
      squeeze together, press together, clamp together, close tightly, shut tightly
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    2. 1.2with object Grasp (something) tightly and firmly.
      ‘he clenched the steering wheel so hard that the car wobbled’
      • ‘Sarah asked bravely, her hands still firmly clenching Migoto's waist.’
      • ‘A small, black satchel lay over his left shoulder, and a 4-foot long wooden staff was clenched firmly in his right paw.’
      • ‘Sitting upright, his knuckles paled as he clenched the bedcover firmly.’
      • ‘When the call was made and I had to go, I stood straight in front of the closed door, clenching the handkerchief firmly.’
      • ‘Joven shrieked angrily and grasped it, clenching it greedily between her long, trembling fingers.’
      • ‘He crawled over to her side at once and picked up one of her hands, clenching it tightly in his grip.’
      • ‘He grabbed onto the ledge of the lab table, clenched it tightly and braced his legs.’
      • ‘Red stood at the bar, clenching the edge tightly.’
      • ‘Maxwell resumed his furious pacing, clenching the phone tightly, ‘Is he all right?’’
      • ‘But her hands were definitely feeling another pair of hands, clenching her ankles so tightly they cut off the circulation.’
      • ‘Finally his hand rose above from the couch clenching a cell phone tightly as he dialed Scarlet right away.’
      • ‘He sat there in the saddle for a moment, immobile, clenching the reins tightly.’
      • ‘I remember clenching the receipt tightly in my hands, almost as if I was ready to give it back.’
      • ‘I launched out of the room noisily and into the living room, clenching the phone tightly.’
      • ‘But Scott clenches my hand tightly in his, as if not to lose me, and I can't.’
      • ‘Kara's eyes burn with angry tears, and she clenches the file folder tightly.’
      • ‘The attic steps creaked loudly every time Rayne stepped on one, and she frowned slightly as she clenched the banister tightly.’
      • ‘I was bent over, gritting my teeth and clenching onto the table.’
      grip, grasp, grab, clutch, clamp, clasp, hold tightly, seize, press, squeeze, lay hands on, lay one's hands on, fasten one's hand on, hang on to
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    3. 1.3(with reference to a muscular part of the body) tighten or contract sharply, especially with strong emotion.
      with object ‘my stomach was clenched in a knot’
      no object ‘her heart clenched in fear’
      • ‘His body is clenching from the pain and his mouth is drooling.’
      • ‘Still, when she tried to open her eyes, her body clenched in protest.’
      • ‘My body clenched in anticipation of the bullets that would rip through it.’
      • ‘My face formed into a look of perplexity, and the fibers of my body clenched.’
      • ‘The muscles along her stomach clenched, and her insides contracted with a searing pain.’
      • ‘Sapphire's eyes looked towards the bodies and her heart clenched painfully once more.’
      • ‘His jaw clenched, his muscles tightened, and his eyes dropped about a hundred degrees.’
      • ‘Standing, I saw her muscles clench and Natalia inhaled sharply.’
      • ‘Those thoughts continued, fear shot through Shanza so strongly that his stomach clenched in a knot and he went white with fright.’
      • ‘I nonchalantly leave Adrian in the living room and enter the kitchen, although my stomach is clenching with anxiety and apprehension.’
      • ‘Joven turned slowly, her heart thudding and her stomach clenching.’
      • ‘My stomach clenches, and I take in the bold headline.’
      • ‘Hope's stomach clenched nervously against the butterflies flitting about.’
      • ‘She could feel her stomach beginning to clench up into knots.’
      • ‘Kagami's fists tightened and her jaw clenched at the gruesome scene.’
      • ‘He rigidly walked forward, his jaw clenched as he fought with the nausea tightening his stomach.’
      • ‘Slowly he turned around, every muscle in his body tense, he jaw clenched.’
      • ‘His stomach clenched into a tight ball when he remembered what he was supposed to do.’
      • ‘Her eyes were clenched firmly shut as her legs gave way and she slid down the airlock door onto the cold floor.’
      • ‘It felt like something was clenching my heart too tightly.’

noun

in singular
  • A contraction or tightening of part of the body.

    ‘she saw the anger rise, saw the clench of his fists’
    • ‘The creases in her face deepened as his frown turned into a clench.’
    • ‘It had not helped, even with the burning clench of his muscles or the adrenaline coursing through his body.’
    • ‘I looked away from Matt as I felt a clench in my chest.’
    • ‘He feels a clench of chill around his heart, remembering Lex's rant earlier.’
    • ‘They all felt a lump in their throats, a clench in their hearts, and an ache in their chests.’
    • ‘There was a feeling in the young man's stomach, of hatred and sickness, and a horrible clench.’
    • ‘A forceful clench of her hands froze us together in a bowing sweep as the piece ended in a thundering crash of drums.’
    • ‘Through the powerful clench in her teeth, she nodded, wincing every time her heart beat against the pressure on her forearm.’
    • ‘Darcy rushed out and I felt a clench in my stomach, hoping she wasn't talking about Scarlett.’
    • ‘Nobody knows what you're doing unless you tell them you're doing clenches.’
    contraction, tightening, tensing, tension, constricting, cramp
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Origin

Old English (in the sense of clinch ‘fix securely’): of Germanic origin; related to cling.

Pronunciation

clench

/klɛn(t)ʃ/