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English definition of “clam up”

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clam up

( also shut up like a clam) informal
verb uk phrasal verb with clam   /klæm/ (-mm-) us  
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.
(Definition of clam up from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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