When you speak of someone having clout, it usually means that they communicate a sense of power or influence, particularly in the political sense. "You’ll wanna talk to that big guy over there if you want me to let you in. He’s got clout."

Clout can also mean to hit someone really hard — either the hit you give (“that’s a big clout he just landed”) or the act of hitting (“she clouted him with a baseball bat”). Of course, the sense of having power and the actual hitting are related, since clout is something to be wielded — either physically or figuratively. Note: it's not just tough guys who have clout. China is said to have "growing economic clout," and Oprah is known to have significant clout in the media industry.

Definitions of clout
  1. noun
    (boxing) a blow with the fist
    “I gave him a clout on his nose”
    synonyms: biff, lick, poke, punch, slug
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    counter, counterpunch, parry
    a return punch (especially by a boxer)
    KO punch, Sunday punch, haymaker, knockout punch
    a hard punch that renders the opponent unable to continue boxing
    a short swinging punch delivered from the side with the elbow bent
    a quick short straight punch
    rabbit punch
    a short chopping blow to the back of the neck
    sucker punch
    an unexpected punch
    a hook delivered with an exaggerated swing
    type of:
    blow, buffet
    a powerful stroke with the fist or a weapon
  2. verb
    strike hard, especially with the fist
    “He clouted his attacker”
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    type of:
    deliver a sharp blow, as with the hand, fist, or weapon
  3. noun
    special advantage or influence
    synonyms: pull
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    type of:
    advantage, vantage
    the quality of having a superior or more favorable position
  4. noun
    a target used in archery
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    type of:
    mark, target
    a reference point to shoot at
  5. noun
    a short nail with a flat head; used to attach sheet metal to wood
    synonyms: clout nail
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    type of:
    a thin pointed piece of metal that is hammered into materials as a fastener
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