Student or Learner
I would like to use the word, to clinch, in a sentence.
(ex) John wanted to earn a PhD in Computer Science. He worried that his lack of related work experience would prevent him from getting admission to the program. Fortunately, the glowing academic references that his professors wrote for him clinched his success in entering the program.
I showed my roommates my example with the word, clinched, used in it. They all laughed at me and said that I was not using it correctly. They did not explain how I used it incorrectly. Could someone please explain my mistake? Thank you very much for your help.
It's appropriate. I'd probably use something like "ensured". But what you've written is not objectionable.