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Etymology in Webster's New World Dictionary (ed. D.B. Guralnik; 1959; pbk.; 632 pp.):

  • grasp
    [AS. clyccan, clench]
  • nest/brood
    [< ON. klekja, hatch]

Strabismus 20:30, 21 February 2009 (UTC)


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Two senses: noun meaning "An important or critical situation"; and adjective: "Tending to be good in difficult situations." Ƿidsiþ 08:49, 1 October 2012 (UTC)

The search term "clutch win" gets mostly relevant hits. SpinningSpark 10:24, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
...and "clutch team" gets some more. SpinningSpark 10:27, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
The idiom is "in the clutch" for a critical situation, as in "he's really good in the clutch". The adjective sense is basically an abbreviation of that, used attributively (though it may have become independent of that in actual usage). What I've heard most is "clutch player". I suspect that "clutch team", etc. are expanded from that by analogy. Chuck Entz (talk) 12:47, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
Widsith, why did you tag this? Have you really not heard of this or is it the part of speech and definition you dispute? Mglovesfun (talk) 17:24, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
I've never heard it in my life. Have you?? I assumed it must be a US English thing. Ƿidsiþ 20:48, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
Definitely widespread use in US English, both as noun and adjective. DCDuring TALK 21:15, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
I wonder whether the noun sense is used outside of attributive use (which could readily be assigned to the adjective) and in the clutch. DCDuring TALK 21:38, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm American and I've never heard it in my life either. The first two cites are clearly from sports, the third's context isn't clear. Is it ever used outside sports? —Angr 22:06, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
Sometimes in business, even politics. ("Will Romney be good in the clutch or will he choke?") But it's used in many performance situations. ("She couldn't hit the high notes reliably in rehearsal, but she came through in the clutch.") DCDuring TALK 22:23, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Adjective cited IMHO. DCDuring TALK 21:23, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Noun cited IMHO. DCDuring TALK 22:40, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
    Are there any citations for the noun outside of the phrase "in the clutch"? --WikiTiki89 (talk) 22:51, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
    I didn't find any, but I didn't try too hard. I was trying to establish that the word and the expression are not limited to sports. 23:33, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
    I found two, for "[come] to the clutch". DCDuring TALK 00:26, 2 October 2012 (UTC)
@Widsith I've been watching US sports since I was about 10. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:51, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Struck as cited. Thanks DCD. Ƿidsiþ 08:18, 2 October 2012 (UTC)