Words related to clench
The main sense shifted in Middle English to "adhere to" (something else), "stick together." Of persons in embrace, c. 1600. Figuratively (to hopes, outmoded ideas, etc.), from 1580s. Of clothes from 1792. Related: Clung; clinging.
"mass of slag," 1769, from klincard (1640s), a type of paving brick made in Holland, from Dutch klinkaerd, from klinken "to ring" (as it does when struck), which is of imitative origin (compare clink (v.)). Also "a clinch-nail" (see clench, clinch). The meaning "stupid mistake" is first recorded 1950 in American English; originally (1942) "a wrong note in music."