August 29, 2011
- clutch (adjective)
- What does it mean?
- : done or doing well in a tight or critical situation
- How do you use it?
- It was the bottom of the 9th inning and our team was down by one run, so we brought in our clutch hitter.
- Are you a word wiz?
Where do you think this interesting use of "clutch" comes from?You're an old hand at this if you chose B! The adjective "clutch" comes from the noun "clutch." The noun originally referred to the act of grabbing, grasping, or seizing something with the hands or with a claw. This meaning is usually used in the plural, as in "He had them in his clutches." The noun gained a number of extended meanings based on the idea of grabbing, squeezing, or seizing something; one of them was the meaning "a tight situation." We use this sense quite a bit in phrases like, "He pitches well in the clutch." From this particular sense, the adjective "clutch" was born. The adjective is an American word that dates back to the 1940s.