Adding a pinch of salt to a salad
- The definition of a pinch is a substitute hitter or runner in baseball.
An example of pinch used as an adjective is in the phrase "pinch runner," which means one player who is running for another one.
- Pinch is defined as a squeeze, or a difficulty, or a tiny amount of something.
- An example of a pinch is to use your thumb and index finger to squeeze the cheek of a small child.
- An example of a pinch is a situation where a tough decision is required; to decide to do something in a pinch.
- An example of a pinch is a tiny bit of salt in soup.
- Pinch means to squeeze between two surfaces, such as the thumb and a finger, or to pluck off the end of a plant, or to be frugal with money, or is slang for stealing.
- An example of pinch is for a child to squeeze his brother's arm between his index finger and thumb.
- An example of pinch is to pluck off a dead flower off a plant.
- An example of pinch is to save every penny and spend nothing.
- An example of pinch is to shoplift.
- to squeeze between a finger and the thumb or between two surfaces, edges, etc.
- to nip off the end of (a plant shoot), as for controlling bud development
- to press painfully upon (some part of the body)
- to cause distress or discomfort to
- to cause to become thin, cramped, etc., as by hunger, pain, cold, etc.
- to restrict closely; straiten; stint: usually in the passive voice
- to steal
- to arrest
- Naut. to sail (a vessel) too close to the wind when closehauled
Origin of pinchMiddle English pinchen from Norman French an unverified form pincher from Old French pincier from Vulgar Latin an unverified form pinctiare from uncertain or unknown; perhaps punctiare, to prick (see puncheon), influenced, influence by an unverified form piccare: see picador
- to squeeze painfully
- to be stingy or niggardly
- to be frugal with expenses; economize
- Mining to become narrower; hence, to give (out): said of a vein of ore
- a pinching; squeeze or nip
- the quantity that may be grasped between the finger and thumb
- a small amount
- distress; hardship; difficulty
- an emergency; urgent situation or time: now usually in the phrase in a pinch
- a theft
- an arrest or police raid
Origin of pinchsee pinchnoun
verbpinched, pinch·ing, pinch·es
- To squeeze (something) between the thumb and a finger, the jaws of a tool, or other edges.
- To cause pain or discomfort to (a part of the body) by pressing or being too tight: These shoes pinch my toes.
- To nip, wither, or shrivel: buds that were pinched by the frost; a face that was pinched with grief.
- To cause to be in difficulty or financial distress: “A year and a half of the blockade has pinched Germany” ( William L. Shirer )
- Slang To take (money or property) wrongfully. See Synonyms at steal.
- Slang To take into custody; arrest.
- To move (something) with a pinch bar.
- Nautical To sail (a boat) so close into the wind that its sails shiver and its speed is reduced.
- To press, squeeze, or bind painfully: This collar pinches.
- To draw a thumb and a finger together on a touchscreen to cause the image to become smaller.
- To be frugal or miserly: If we pinch, we might save some money.
- Nautical To drag an oar at the end of a stroke.
- The act or an instance of pinching.
- An amount that can be held between thumb and forefinger: a pinch of salt.
- Difficulty or hardship: felt the pinch of the recession.
- An emergency situation: This coat will do in a pinch.
- A narrowing of a mineral deposit, as in a mine.
- Informal A theft.
- Slang An arrest by a law enforcement officer.
Origin of pinchMiddle English pinchen from Old North French pinchier variant of Old French pincer Italian pinzare to sting and Spanish pinchar to prick, sting all derived from a Romance imitative root pints- expressive of pinching or pricking
(third-person singular simple present pinches, present participle pinching, simple past and past participle pinched)
- To squeeze a small amount of a person's skin and flesh, making it hurt.
- The children were scolded for pinching each other.
- This shoe pinches my foot.
- To steal, usually of something almost trivial or inconsequential.
- Someone has pinched my handkerchief!
- (slang) To arrest or capture.
- (horticulture) To cut shoots or buds of a plant in order to shape the plant, or to improve its yield.
- (nautical) To sail so close-hauled that the sails begin to flutter.
- (hunting) To take hold; to grip, as a dog does.
- To seize; to grip; to bite; said of animals.
- (figuratively) To cramp; to straiten; to oppress; to starve.
- to be pinched for money
- To move, as a railroad car, by prying the wheels with a pinch.
- The action of squeezing a small amount of a person's skin and flesh, making it hurt.
- A small amount of powder or granules, such that the amount could be held between fingertip and thumb tip.
- An awkward situation of some kind (especially money or social) which is difficult to escape.
- An organic herbal smoke additive.
From Middle English pinchen, from Anglo-Norman *pinchier (compare Old French pincer, pincier (“to pinch, find fault")), from Vulgar Latin *pincÄre, a nasalised variant of Vulgar Latin *piccÄre (“to pick, pierce"), from Frankish *pikkÅn, from Proto-Germanic *pikÅnÄ…, *pukanÄ… (“to pick, peck, prick, knock"), from Proto-Indo-European *beu-, *bu- (“to make a dull sound"). Cognate with Old English pÈ³can, pician (“to pick, pluck"), Old Norse pikka (“to prick, peck"), Middle Dutch and Middle Low German picken (“to pick, peck, pierce"), German pochen (“to knock, pound, thump"). More at pick.