clutch (v.)

Old English clyccan "bring together, bend (the fingers), clench," from PIE *klukja- (source also of Swedish klyka "clamp, fork;" related to cling). Meaning "to grasp" is early 14c.; that of "to seize with the claws or clutches" is from late 14c. Sense of "hold tightly and close" is from c. 1600. Influenced in meaning by Middle English cloke "a claw." Related: Clutched; clutching.

clutch (n.1)

"a grip, grasp, tight hold," c. 1200, plural, cleches, from or related to the verb clucchen, clicchen (see clutch (v.)). Clutches "the hands," suggesting grasping rapacity or cruelty, is from 1520s.

clutch (n.2)

"movable mechanical coupling or locking and unlocking contrivance for transmitting motion," 1814, from clutch (v.), with the "seizing" sense extended to "device for bringing working parts together." Originally of mill-works, first used of motor vehicles 1899. Meaning "moment when heroics are required" is attested from 1920s.

clutch (n.3)

"a brood, the number of eggs incubated at any one time," in reference to chickens, 1721, a southern England dialectal variant of cletch (1690s), noun from cleck (v.), which is from Middle English clekken "to hatch, give birth to" (c. 1400), which is probably from a Scandinavian source (such as Old Norse klekja "to hatch"), perhaps of imitative origin (compare cluck (v.)). Compare batch/bake.

Definitions of clutch
clutch (n.)
the act of grasping;
Synonyms: clasp / clench / clutches / grasp / grip / hold
clutch (n.)
a tense critical situation;
he is a good man in the clutch
clutch (n.)
a number of birds hatched at the same time;
clutch (n.)
a collection of things or persons to be handled together;
Synonyms: batch
clutch (n.)
a woman's strapless purse that is carried in the hand;
Synonyms: clutch bag
clutch (n.)
a pedal or lever that engages or disengages a rotating shaft and a driving mechanism;
he smoothely released the clutch with one foot and stepped on the gas with the other
Synonyms: clutch pedal
clutch (n.)
a coupling that connects or disconnects driving and driven parts of a driving mechanism;
this year's model has an improved clutch
clutch (v.)
take hold of; grab;
She clutched her purse
Synonyms: seize / prehend
clutch (v.)
hold firmly, usually with one's hands;
She clutched my arm when she got scared
Synonyms: cling to / hold close / hold tight
clutch (v.)
Synonyms: seize / get hold of