1. Any of various devices used to join, grip, support, or compress mechanical or structural parts.
2. Any of various tools with opposing, often adjustable sides or parts for bracing objects or holding them together.
tr.v. clamped, clamp·ing, clampsPhrasal Verb:
1. To fasten, grip, or support with or as if with a clamp.
2. To establish by authority; impose: clamped a tax on imports.
To become more strict or repressive; impose controls: clamping down on environment polluters.
[Middle English, from Middle Dutch klampe.]
(click for a larger image)clamp
top: parallel clamp
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.