Cinch the deal or clinch the deal

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Cinch the deal and clinch the deal are two phrases that are often confused, but only one is considered good English. We will determine which phrase is grammatically correct, where the term came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Cinch the deal is an eggcorn, which is a term for a misheard word or phrase that retains its original meaning. Cinch the deal is a very common mistaken rendering of the phrase clinch the deal, but is still considered incorrect as it is not found in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Clinch the deal means to make final, to conclude or to irrefutably settle something. Related phrases are clinches the deal, clinched the deal, clinching the deal. This definition of clinch, meaning to make final, was first used in the early 1700s and is found in other terms such as clinch the title and clinch the game. It references the original meaning of the word clinch, which is to secure a nail by driving the protruding end sideways.


Toshiba Corp’s board, under pressure to clinch a deal for its prized memory chip unit soon, met to review a revised bid proposed by Western Digital Corp but no agreement was reached, people familiar with matter said. (Reuters)

The scandal which relates to alleged corruption in the purchase of 155-mm howitzers for the Army from Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors came to light after Swedish Radio claimed in April 1987 that AB Bofors had paid bribes to top Indian politicians and defence personnel to clinch the deal for supply of 400 guns. (The Indian Express)

State-owned energy company Pertamina is finding it difficult to acquire two energy blocks controlled by Russian oil firm Rosneft because of the high acquisition tax the firm has to pay to Indonesian authorities to clinch the deal. (The Jakarta Post)