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 pinch
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 touchschreen 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 pincier, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *p&imacron;nctiare.
(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.