Noun dated in the 13th Century CE and verb dated in the late 14th Century CE; from claspe, possible modification of clapse, which is from Old English clyppan (“to grasp”). Related to enclasp (“embrace, hold tightly in one's arms”).
- (General American) IPA(key): /klæsp/
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /klɑːsp/
- Rhymes: -æsp, -ɑːsp
Audio (US) (file)
clasp (plural clasps)
- A fastener or holder, particularly one that clasps.
- I always have a hard time working the clasp on this necklace!
- (in the singular) An embrace, a grasp, or handshake.
- He took her hand in a firm clasp.
- (transitive) To take hold of; to grasp; to grab tightly.
- They clasped hands and parted as friends.
- To shut or fasten together with, or as if with, a clasp.
- “clasp” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2018.