In American sports vernacular, "clutch" is an adjective alternately describing pressure situations or an athlete skilled in these situations, or sometimes a noun for these situations. According to Merriam-Webster, this usage dates to 1944.

The most common usage is in baseball, where a player may be described as a "clutch hitter" for his skills with men on base and his team needing runs. Other common uses are to describe the player in a general sense ("he's so clutch"), or by a broadcaster to enhance the viewer's perception of the situation ("this is a clutch situation for Carolina, up by one and killing off their sixth penalty").