Clutch Clutch (kl[u^]ch; 224), n. [OE. cloche, cloke, claw, Scot. clook, cleuck, also OE. cleche claw, clechen, cleken, to seize; cf. AS. gel[ae]ccan (where ge- is a prefix) to seize. Cf. {Latch} a catch.] 1. A gripe or clinching with, or as with, the fingers or claws; seizure; grasp. ``The clutch of poverty.'' --Cowper. [1913 Webster]

An expiring clutch at popularity. --Carlyle. [1913 Webster]

But Age, with his stealing steps, Hath clawed me in his clutch. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. pl. The hands, claws, or talons, in the act of grasping firmly; -- often figuratively, for power, rapacity, or cruelty; as, to fall into the clutches of an adversary. [1913 Webster]

I must have . . . little care of myself, if I ever more come near the clutches of such a giant. --Bp. Stillingfleet. [1913 Webster]

3. (Mach.) A device which is used for coupling shafting, etc., so as to transmit motion, and which may be disengaged at pleasure. [1913 Webster]

4. Any device for gripping an object, as at the end of a chain or tackle. [1913 Webster]

5. (Zo["o]l.) The nest complement of eggs of a bird. [1913 Webster]

{Bayonet clutch} (Mach.), a clutch in which connection is made by means of bayonets attached to arms sliding on a feathered shaft. The bayonets slide through holes in a crosshead fastened on the shaft. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.