—clutchingly, adv. —clutchy, adj./kluch/, v.t.1. to seize with or as with the hands or claws; snatch: The bird swooped down and clutched its prey with its claws.2. to grip or hold tightly or firmly: She clutched the child's hand as they crossed the street.3. Slang. to spellbind; grip a person's emotions, attention, or interest: Garbo movies really clutch me.v.i.4. to try to seize or grasp (usually fol. by at): He clutched at the fleeing child. She clutched at the opportunity.5. Slang. to become tense with fright; panic (sometimes fol. by up): I clutched up on the math exam.6. to operate the clutch in a vehicle.n.7. the hand, claw, etc., when grasping.8. Usually, clutches. power of disposal or control; mastery: She fell into the clutches of the enemy.9. the act of clutching; a snatch or grasp.10. a tight grip or hold.11. a device for gripping something.12. Auto., Mach.a. a mechanism for readily engaging or disengaging a shaft with or from another shaft or rotating part. Cf. coupling (def. 2a).b. a control, as a pedal, for operating this mechanism.13. Sports. an extremely important or crucial moment of a game: He was famous for his coolness in pitching in the clutch.14. any critical position or situation; emergency: She kept complete control in the clutch.15. Also called clutch bag, clutch purse. a woman's small purse that can be carried in the hand and usually has no handle or strap.adj.16. done or accomplished in a critical situation: a clutch shot that won the basketball game.17. dependable in crucial situations: a clutch player.18. (of a coat) without fasteners; held closed in front by one's hand or arm.[1175-1225; ME clucchen, var. of clicchen, OE clyccan to clench]clutch2/kluch/, n.1. a hatch of eggs; the number of eggs produced or incubated at one time.2. a brood of chickens.3. a number of similar individuals: a clutch of books; a whole clutch of dancers.v.t.4. to hatch (chickens).[1715-25; var. of cletch (now dial.); akin to Scots cleck to hatch < ON klekja to hatch]
* * *Device for quickly and easily connecting or disconnecting a pair of rotatable coaxial shafts.Clutches are usually placed between the driving motor and the input shaft to a machine and provide a convenient means for starting and stopping the machine and permitting the driving motor or engine to be started in an unloaded state (as in an automobile). Mechanical clutches provide either a positive (no-slip) or a friction-dependent drive; centrifugal clutches provide automatic engagement. An overrunning clutch transmits torque in one direction only and permits the driven shaft of a machine to freewheel (continue rotating after the driver stops); on bicycles, such clutches permit the rider to coast without moving the pedals.
* * *▪ machine componentdevice for quickly and easily connecting or disconnecting a pair of rotatable coaxial shafts. Clutches are usually placed between the driving motor and the input shaft to a machine and provide a convenient means for starting and stopping the machine and permitting the driving motor or engine to be started in an unloaded state (as in an automobile).Mechanical clutches provide either a positive (no-slip) or a friction-dependent drive. Positive clutches are collars with jaws that interlock, one member being rigidly attached to its shaft while the other slides on its shaft.Friction clutches have pairs of conical (see illustration), disk, or ring-shaped mating surfaces and means for pressing the surfaces together. The pressure may be created by a spring or a series of levers locked in position by the wedging action of a conical spool.Automatic engagement is obtained with a centrifugal clutch in which the friction shoes are segments of rings that are pivoted to or carried around by the driving member and make firmer and firmer contact with the internal cylindrical surface of the driven member as the driver's speed increases.An overrunning clutch transmits torque in one direction only and permits the driven shaft of a machine to freewheel, or keep on rotating when the driver is stopped. On bicycles, such clutches permit the rider to coast without moving the pedals.
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