To grasp and hold tightly. To seize; snatch. To attempt to grasp or seize: clutch at a life raft. To engage or disengage a motor vehicle's clutch. A hand, claw, talon, or paw in the act of grasping. A tight grasp. Control or power. Often used in the plural: caught in the clutches of sin. A device for gripping and holding. Any of various devices for engaging and disengaging two working parts of a shaft or of a shaft and a driving mechanism. The apparatus, such as a lever or pedal, that activates one of these devices. A tense, critical situation: came through in the clutch. A clutch bag. Informal Being or occurring in a tense or critical situation: won the championship by sinking a clutch putt. Informal Tending to be successful in tense or critical situations: The coach relied on her clutch pitcher. The complete set of eggs produced or incubated at one time. A brood of chickens. A group; a bunch. To hatch (chicks).