American Dictionary of the English Language

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CLINCH, verb transitive

1. To gripe with the hand; to make fast by bending over, folding, or embracing closely. Thus, to clinch a nail, is to bend the point and drive it closely. To clinch the hand or fist, is to contract the fingers closely into the palm of the hand. To clinch an instrument, is to close the fingers and thumb round it, and hold it fast.

2. To fix or fasten; to make firm; as, to clinch an argument.

CLINCH, noun

1. A word used in a double meaning; a pun; an ambiguity; a duplicity of meaning, with identity of expression.

Here one poor word a hundred clinches makes.

2. A witty, ingenious reply.

3. In seamens language, the part of a cable which is fastened to the ring of an anchor; a kind of knot and seizings, used to fasten a cable to the ring of an anchor, and the britching of a gun to the ring bolts in a ships side.