(1)   (boxing) a blow with the fist
"I gave him a clout on his nose"
(2)   A short nail with a flat head; used to attach sheet metal to wood
(3)   Special advantage or influence
"The chairman's nephew has a lot of pull"
(4)   A target used in archery


(5)   Strike hard, especially with the fist
"He clouted his attacker"


, from , from . Cognate with Old Norse (Swedish , Danish ), Middle High German (German ), dialect Russian . See also cleat.


  1. Influence or effectiveness, especially political.
  2. A blow with the hand.
    • 1910, Katherine Mansfield, Frau Brenchenmacher Attends A Wedding
      'Such a clout on the ear as you gave me… But I soon taught you.'
  3. The center of the butt at which archers shoot; probably once a piece of white cloth or a nail head.
  4. A swaddling cloth.
  5. A cloth; a piece of cloth or leather; a patch; a rag.
  6. An iron plate on an axletree or other wood to keep it from wearing; a washer.
    • 1866, James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, Volume 1, p. 546.
      Clouts were thin and flat pieces of iron, used it appears to strengthen the box of the wheel; perhaps also for nailing on such other parts of the cart as were particularly exposed to wear.
  7. A piece; a fragment.