also cleché, 1680s, "pierced through with a figure of the same kind," but also, of a cross, "having arms which spread or grow broader toward the extremities," from French cléché (17c.), from Latin *clavicatus "key-holed," or clavicella "little key," from clavis "key" (from PIE root *klau- "hook"). The cross sense perhaps from or merged with Latin clava "club, knotty branch."
also *kleu-, klēu-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "hook, crook," also "crooked or forked branch" (used as a bar or bolt in primitive structures).
It forms all or part of: anschluss; autoclave; clause; claustrophobia; claves; clavichord; clavicle; clavier; claviger; clechy; clef; cloison; cloisonne; cloister; close (v.); close (adj.); closet; closure; cloture; clove (n.1) "dried flowerbud of a certain tropical tree, used as a spice;" cloy; conclave; conclude; disclose; enclave; enclose; exclude; foreclose; include; occlude; preclude; recluse; seclude; slot (n.2) "bar or bolt used to fasten a door, window, etc."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek kleis "bar, bolt, key; collarbone," klobos "cage;" Latin clavis "key," clavus "nail," claudere "to shut, close;" Lithuanian kliūti "to catch, be caught on," kliaudžiu, kliausti "to check, hinder," kliūvu, kliūti "to clasp, hang;" Old Church Slavonic ključi "hook, key," ključiti "shut;" Old Irish clo "nail," Middle Irish clithar "hedge, fence;" Old High German sliozan "shut," German schließen "to shut," Schlüssel "key."