American Dictionary of the English Language

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CLUTCH, verb transitive

1. To double in the fingers and pinch or compress them together; to clinch. [If n is not radical in clinch, this may be from the same root.]

2. To seize, clasp or gripe with the hand; as, to clutch a dagger; to clutch prey.

3. To seize, or grasp; as, to clutch the globe at a grasp.

CLUTCH, noun A griping or pinching with the fingers; seizure; grasp.