1. a device, usually of metal, for fastening together two or more things or parts of the same thing: a clasp for paper money; a clasp on a necklace.
  2. a firm grasp or grip: a clasp of hands.
  3. a tight embrace: She held the child in a loving clasp.
  4. a small bar or metal design, as a star, for affixing to the ribbon of a military decoration to indicate that the bearer has been awarded the decoration an additional time.

verb (used with object), clasped or (Archaic) claspt [klaspt, klahspt] /klæspt, klɑspt/; clasping.

  1. to fasten with or as with a clasp.
  2. to furnish with a clasp.
  3. to seize, grasp, or grip with the hand: She clasped the club in her hand.
  4. to hold in a tight embrace; hug: He clasped the child to him.

verb (used without object), clasped or (Archaic) claspt [klaspt, klahspt] /klæspt, klɑspt/; clasping.

  1. to embrace or hug: The lovers clasped.


  1. a fastening, such as a catch or hook, used for holding things together
  2. a firm grasp, hold, or embrace
  3. military a bar or insignia on a medal ribbon, to indicate either a second award or the battle, campaign, or reason for its award

verb (tr)

  1. to hold in a firm grasp
  2. to grasp firmly with the hand
  3. to fasten together with or as if with a clasp

c.1300, claspe, “metal catch or hook used to hold things together,” perhaps a metathesis of clapse, and thus from or related to Old English clyppan “clasp” (see clip (v.2)).


late 14c., from clasp (n.). Related: Clasped; clasping.


  1. A part of a removable partial denture that directly retains or stabilizes a denture.

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