- a device, usually of some rigid material, for strengthening or supporting objects or fastening them together.
- an appliance with opposite sides or parts that may be adjusted or brought closer together to hold or compress something.
- one of a pair of movable pieces, made of lead or other soft material, for covering the jaws of a vise and enabling it to grasp without bruising.
- Also called clamp rail. Carpentry. a rail having a groove or a number of mortises for receiving the ends of a number of boards to bind them into a flat piece, as a drawing board or door.
- a horizontal timber in a wooden hull, secured to ribs to support deck beams and to provide longitudinal strength.
verb (used with object)
- to fasten with or fix in a clamp.
- clamp down, to become more strict: There were too many tax loopholes, so the government clamped down.
- clamp down on, to impose or increase controls on.
- a mechanical device with movable jaws with which an object can be secured to a bench or with which two objects may be secured together
- See also
- a means by which a fixed joint may be strengthened
- nautical a horizontal beam fastened to the ribs for supporting the deck beams in a wooden vessel
- to fix or fasten with or as if with a clamp
- to immobilize (a car) by means of a wheel clamp
- to inflict or impose forcefullythey clamped a curfew on the town
- a mound formed out of a harvested root crop, covered with straw and earth to protect it from winter weather
- a pile of bricks ready for processing in a furnace
- (tr) to enclose (a harvested root crop) in a mound
device for fastening, c.1300, probably from clamb, perhaps originally past tense of (v.), or from Middle Dutch clampe (Dutch klamp), from West Germanic *klamp- “clamp, cleat;” cf. Middle Low German klampe “clasp, hook,” Old High German klampfer “clip, clamp;” also probably related to Middle Dutch klamme “a clamp, hook, grapple,” Danish klamme “a clamp, cramp,” Old English clamm “fetter;” see (n.).
“to fasten with a clamp,” 1670s, from Clamped; clamping.(n.). Related:
- An instrument for the compression or grasping of a structure.
Also, put the clamps on. Become stricter or more repressive; put a stop to. For example, The company was clamping down on expenses like business lunches, or It’s time we put the clamps on polluters. [Mid-1900s]