clutch

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pearl-clutching

1. adjective Scandalized or mortified about some event, situation, thing, etc., that was once salacious but is now relatively common; morally conservative, stuffy, prudish, or unfashionable. Those pearl-clutching old prudes gave me dirty looks as I walked past in my cut-off jeans, but I don't give a hoot what they think about me.
2. noun The practice or habit of reacting in a scandalized or mortified manner to once-salacious but now relatively common things, events, situations, etc. I have to say that I am sick and tired of all the pearl-clutching going on amongst parents. Look, our kids are growing up in a different social environment than when we were in school, and it's high time we learned to deal with that!

clutch (one's)/the pearls

To react in a scandalized or mortified manner to once-salacious but now relatively common things, events, situations, etc. Parents should try not to clutch the pearls every time their teenagers come out of their room dressed outrageously—it only makes them want to push the envelope even further. My mother would always clutch her pearls whenever I began telling her about a new boyfriend, so eventually I stopped filling her in altogether.
See also: clutch, pearl

pearl-clutch

To react in a scandalized or mortified manner to once-salacious but now relatively common things, events, situations, etc. Parents should try not to pearl-clutch every time their teenagers come out of their room dressed outrageously—it only makes them want to push the envelope even further. My mother would always pearl-clutch whenever I began telling her about a new boyfriend, so eventually I stopped filling her in altogether.

clutch at a straw

To make a desperate attempt to salvage a bad situation. A: "But what about all those times I took the trash out when you hadn't even asked me to?" B: "That has nothing to do with why you're in trouble now, so stop clutching at a straw."
See also: clutch, straw

a drowning man will clutch at a straw

Someone who is desperate will try to use anything for help, even if it is really no help at all. Facing the possibility that his marriage might be over, John began visiting psychics to help him decide what to do. A drowning man will clutch at a straw.
See also: clutch, drown, man, straw, will

clutch at (someone or something)

To grasp at someone or something. The baby clutched at her mother and wailed. My daughter clutched at the string on the balloon so that it wouldn't fly away.
See also: clutch

clutch at straws

1. To make a desperate attempt to salvage a bad situation. A: "But what about all those times I took the trash out when you hadn't even asked me to?" B: "That has nothing to do with why you're in trouble now, so stop clutching at straws."
2. To consider positive suggestions or thoughts in a bad situation. OK, you're just clutching at straws now, fantasizing about a potential buyer when your house has been on the market for months.
See also: clutch, straw

clutch (someone or something) to (something)

To press or hold something firmly against something else. Suzy clutched her new doll to her chest. Clutch this icepack to your knee to alleviate the swelling.
See also: clutch

fall into (someone or something's) clutches

To be obtained and controlled by an evil person or thing. This will no longer be a sneak attack if our strategy falls into the terrorist group's clutches.
See also: clutch, fall

grasp at straws

To make a desperate attempt to salvage a bad situation. A: "But what about all those times I took the trash out when you hadn't even asked me to?" B: "That has nothing to do with why you're in trouble now, so stop grasping at straws."
See also: grasp, straw

clutched

Nervous or anxious. I used to get clutched every time I had to drive, but I'm a lot calmer behind the wheel now.
See also: clutch

clutch at someone or something

to grasp at or grab for someone or something. He clutched at the roots of the trees along the bank, but the flood swept him away. Karen clutched at me, but lost her grip.
See also: clutch

clutch at straws

Fig. to continue to seek solutions, ideas, or hopes that are insubstantial. When you talk of cashing in quick on your inventions, you are just clutching at straws. That is not a real solution to the problem. You are just clutching at straws.
See also: clutch, straw

clutch someone or something to something

to grasp and hold someone or something to something. She clutched the baby to her bosom. Lee clutched the ice pack to his head.
See also: clutch

clutch (up)

to become very tense and anxious; to freeze with anxiety. I have been known to clutch before a big game. Just relax, play your game, and you won't clutch!

A drowning man will clutch at a straw.

Prov. When you are desperate, you will look for anything that might help you, even if it cannot help you very much. Scott thinks this faith healer will cure his baldness. A drowning man will clutch at a straw.
See also: clutch, drown, man, straw, will

in(to) someone's clutches

Fig. in the control of someone who has power or authority over someone else. Snow White fell into the clutches of the evil witch. Once you're in my clutches, I'll ruin you.
See also: clutch

grasp at straws

Also, clutch at straws. Make a desperate attempt at saving oneself. For example, He had lost the argument, but he kept grasping at straws, naming numerous previous cases that had little to do with this one . This metaphoric expression alludes to a drowning person trying to save himself by grabbing at flimsy reeds. First recorded in 1534, the term was used figuratively by the late 1600s.
See also: grasp, straw

clutch at straws

mainly BRITISH or

grasp at straws

1. If you clutch at straws or grasp at straws, you try to do something that is very unlikely to succeed because you are desperate or have tried everything else. This was a desperate speech, made by a man clutching at straws to retain his career. I was probably grasping at straws in a search for a cure, but I thought I would give the therapy a go.
2. If you clutch at straws or grasp at straws, you try to find hope in a situation where there is no reason to feel hope. By this time, Rosa's behaviour was extremely strange and we were all very concerned. I told myself that at least she still had a job, but I was clutching at straws. Note: This expression comes from the proverb a drowning man will clutch at a straw. People are still clinging to the hope that something will happen — but I think it's like a drowning man trying to clutch at a straw. Note: The image here is of a drowning person who is desperately trying to take hold of anything to save himself or herself, even a straw.
See also: clutch, straw

clutch (or grasp or catch) at straws

do, say, or believe anything, however unlikely or inadequate, which seems to offer hope in a desperate situation.
This expression comes from the proverb a drowning man will clutch at a straw , which is recorded in various forms since the mid 16th century.
See also: clutch, straw

clutch/grasp at ˈstraws

try all possible means to find a solution or some hope in a difficult or unpleasant situation, even though this seems very unlikely: The doctors have told him that he has only 6 months to live, but he won’t accept it. He’s going to a new clinic in Switzerland next week, but he’s just clutching at straws.
See also: clutch, grasp, straw

clutch (up)

in. to become very tense and anxious; to freeze with anxiety. I have been known to clutch up before a race.
See also: clutch, up

clutch

verb

clutched

mod. nervous. I get so clutched before a test.
See also: clutch

clutch

at straws
To search in desperation for a solution to a difficulty.

grasp at straws, to

To make a hopeless effort to save oneself. The term comes from the ancient image of a drowning man clutching at insubstantial reeds in an attempt to save himself, and it often was put as to catch or clutch at straws. It appeared in print as early as the sixteenth century and soon was regarded as a proverb. Indeed, Samuel Richardson so identifies it in Clarissa (1748): “A drowning man will catch at a straw, the proverb well says.” An earlier usage is “We do not as men redie to be drowned, catch at euery straw” (John Prime, Fruitful and Brief Discourse, 1583).
See also: grasp
References in periodicals archive ?
and Menday, M., "The influence of the interface coefficient of friction upon the propensity to judder in automotive clutches," Proceedings of Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering, 213 (3), pp.
The correction factor for rate of energy generated in the friction clutches under uniform pressure condition, J.
For comparison of variables for first and second clutches in Texas river cooters, three variables decreased significantly with the second clutch; mean egg length ([t.sub.27] = 6.42, P < 0.01), mean egg width ([t.sub.27] = 4.64, P < 0.01), and mean egg mass ([t.sub.27] = 4.83, P < 0.01).
The Advantage Series Solo and Easy Pedal clutches continue to offer customers the "best" level of torsional dampening protection, performance and overall lifecycle value with a two-year/unlimited mileage standard warranty and 50,000-mile lube interval.
(1999) may have been affected by small sample size, our work was based on 40 clutches, Dodd (1997) was based on 139 clutches, Tucker (1999) was based on 21 clutches and Kipp's analysis was based on 53 clutches.
An additional feature is a relay clutch built within the main SSS clutch to enable SSS clutches to transmit high power yet keep the synchronizing mechanism (pawls and ratchets) within the clutch small and reliable.
By adding another planetary gear set, along with two clutches, torque is boosted at lower speeds.
I would be interested to see if they are prepared to let me print that Ford clutches have the potential to fail after 5,000 miles.
Clutch mass and clutch size were both correlated with female SVL for the 10 clutches obtained in 2001.
New from Warner Electric, a global supplier of industrial clutches, is a family of wrap spring products for dependable load starting and stopping applications the Standard CB and Super CB Series clutch/brakes and WSC Series clutches.
Metal Technologies Inc (MTI) an Auburn, Indiana-based metalcasting company, has acquired Auburn Clutch Co., Inc., a manufacturer of clutches and related products for the agricultural and other off-highway transportation markets.
In northwestern Tennessee where I have studied Carolina Chickadees since 1970, the earliest clutches are initiated in March and the latest clutches are laid in May; the peak of egg laying typically occurs in late March and early April.
However, selection acts on inclusive fitness, which includes both current and future clutches, so that evaluation of the effect of a trait on fitness requires accounting for effects on parents as well as offspring.
The first eggs are laid around 20 May, and most clutches hatch during the first half of June.
Clutches can be stubborn, so be prepared to use some muscle.