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English definition of “clam up”

clam up

(also shut up like a clam) informal phrasal verb with clam     /klæm/ verb (-mm-)
to become silent suddenly, usually because you are embarrassed or nervous, or do not want to talk about a particular subject: He just clams up if you ask him about his childhood.Falling silent and not speaking
(Definition of clam up from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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