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Clench and Clinch

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To clench is to grasp firmly, as, “He clenched my arm firmly,” “He clenched his nerves bravely to endure the pain.” (Anglo-Saxon, be-clencan, to hold fast.)

To clinch is to make fast, to turn the point of a nail in order to make it fast. Hence, to clinch an argument. (Dutch, klinken, to rivet. Whence “clinker-built,” said of a ship whose planks overlap each other, and are riveted together.)

I gave him a clencher (should be “clincher”). I nailed him fast.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Clear Grit (The)
Clear out for Guam (To)
Clear Voice (A)
Cleared out
Clearing House
Cleave
Clelia
Clelie
Clement (St.)
Clementina (The Lady)
Clench and Clinch
Cleombrotos
Cleon
Cleopatra
Cleopatra and her Pearl
Clergy
Clergymen
Clerical Titles
Clerical Vestments
Clerimond
Clerk