clutch Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “clutch” in the English Dictionary

"clutch" in British English

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clutchverb [I or T]

uk   /klʌtʃ/  us   /klʌtʃ/
C2 to take or ​try to take ​hold of something ​tightly, usually in ​fear, ​worry, or ​pain: Silent and ​pale, she clutched (onto) her mother's ​hand. Clutching the ​money to his ​chest, he ​hurried to the ​bank. He ​collapsed, clutching his ​stomach.
Phrasal verbs


uk   /klʌtʃ/  us   /klʌtʃ/
  • clutch noun (MACHINE PART)

[C usually singular] a ​device that ​allowsturningmovement to be ​sent from one ​part of a ​machine to another: I've ​booked the ​car into the ​garage because the clutch is slipping.
C1 [C usually singular] the pedal or ​handle in a ​vehicle that is used to ​operate the engine's clutch: Push the clutch in, put the ​car into ​gear, ​rev the ​engine, and then ​gently let the clutch out.

clutchadjective [only before noun]

/klʌtʃ/ /klʌtʃ/  us /klʌtʃ/ US
(Definition of clutch from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"clutch" in American English

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clutchverb [I/T]

 us   /klʌtʃ/
  • clutch verb [I/T] (HOLD)

to ​hold or ​try to ​hold something ​tightly, often because of a ​state of ​fear or ​anxiety: [T] The ​preschooler clutched his ​mothertightly.


  • clutch noun (VEHICLE PART)

 us   /klʌtʃ/ [C usually sing] a ​device in a ​car or other ​vehicle that you ​press with ​yourfoot in ​order to ​changegears (= set of ​wheels that ​controlpower)
  • clutch noun (GROUP)

 /klʌtʃ/ [C] a ​group of ​eggs or ​younganimalshatched from ​eggs: several clutches of the ​infantseaturtles
 /klʌtʃ/ [C] A clutch is also a ​group of ​people, ​animals, or things: The herders ​tend to ​small clutches of ​cattle and ​llamas.
  • clutch noun (BAG)

 /klʌtʃ/ [C] a ​smallbag with no ​handle or ​strap, used esp. by women for ​carryingsmallpersonalitems


 us   /klʌtʃ/
  • clutch adjective (PERFORMING WELL)

able to do something when it is ​especiallyneeded: Moose, always ​reliable under ​pressure, was a ​tremendous clutch ​hitter.
(Definition of clutch from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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