... in the clutches of alcoholism


Senior Member
Portuguese, Brazil
what is the meaning of this expression?
Here is the context: "Among them is Jennifer Boeth Whipple, 53, a journalist who arrived in the clutches of alcoholism in 1998"
Thanks in advance
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    In the clutches of X.
    It means that she was completely dominated by X.
    X could be a person or an addiction or anything else that has the power to control and suppress.


    Senior Member
    US English
    It means that she wasn't sort of an alcoholic, or she just had a few drinks every now and then, but she was a full-fledged alcoholic. "Clutches of alcoholism" means that she was helpless to her habit, it had become so addictive that it was out of control, no longer a choice...she needed a treatment program to deliver her from its grasp.
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