Pinch meaning

pĭnch
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.

verb
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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.

noun
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To take into custody; arrest.
verb
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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.

adjective
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To squeeze (something) between the thumb and a finger, the jaws of a tool, or other edges.
verb
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To cause pain or discomfort to (a part of the body) by pressing or being too tight.

These shoes pinch my toes.

verb
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To cause to be in difficulty or financial distress.
verb
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To move (something) with a pinch bar.
verb
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To sail (a boat) so close into the wind that its sails shiver and its speed is reduced.
verb
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To press, squeeze, or bind painfully.

This collar pinches.

verb
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To draw a thumb and a finger together on a touchschreen to cause the image to become smaller.
verb
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To be frugal or miserly.

If we pinch, we might save some money.

verb
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To drag an oar at the end of a stroke.
verb
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The act or an instance of pinching.
noun
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An amount that can be held between thumb and forefinger.

A pinch of salt.

noun
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Difficulty or hardship.

Felt the pinch of the recession.

noun
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An emergency situation.

This coat will do in a pinch.

noun
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A narrowing of a mineral deposit, as in a mine.
noun
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To nip, wither, or shrivel.

Buds that were pinched by the frost; a face that was pinched with grief.

verb
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To take (money or property) wrongfully.
verb
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A theft.
noun
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An arrest by a law enforcement officer.
noun
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Relating to pinch-hitting or pinch runners.

A pinch single; a pinch steal of third base.

adjective
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To squeeze between a finger and the thumb or between two surfaces, edges, etc.
verb
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To nip off the end of (a plant shoot), as for controlling bud development.
verb
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To press painfully upon (some part of the body)
verb
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To cause distress or discomfort to.
verb
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To cause to become thin, cramped, etc., as by hunger, pain, cold, etc.
verb
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To restrict closely; straiten; stint.
verb
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To sail (a vessel) too close to the wind when closehauled.
verb
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To squeeze painfully.
verb
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To become narrower; hence, to give (out)
verb
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A pinching; squeeze or nip.
noun
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Distress; hardship; difficulty.
noun
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An emergency; urgent situation or time.
noun
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Of or having to do with a substitute hitter or runner.
adjective
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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.

verb
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To steal, usually of something almost trivial or inconsequential.

Someone has pinched my handkerchief!

verb
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(slang) To arrest or capture.
verb
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(horticulture) To cut shoots or buds of a plant in order to shape the plant, or to improve its yield.
verb
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(nautical) To sail so close-hauled that the sails begin to flutter.
verb
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(hunting) To take hold; to grip, as a dog does.
verb
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To seize; to grip; to bite; said of animals.
verb
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(figuratively) To cramp; to straiten; to oppress; to starve.

To be pinched for money.

verb
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To move, as a railroad car, by prying the wheels with a pinch.
verb
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The action of squeezing a small amount of a person's skin and flesh, making it hurt.
noun
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A small amount of powder or granules, such that the amount could be held between fingertip and thumb tip.
noun
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An awkward situation of some kind (especially money or social) which is difficult to escape.
noun
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An organic herbal smoke additive.
noun
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pinch pennies
  • To be thrifty or miserly.
idiom
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pinch pennies
  • To be very frugal or economical.
idiom
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Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Origin of pinch

  • Middle English pinchen from Old North French pinchier variant of Old French pincier perhaps from Vulgar Latin pīnctiāre

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English pinchen, from Anglo-Norman *pinchier (compare Old French pincer, pincier (“to pinch, find fault")), from Vulgar Latin *pincāre, a nasalised variant of Vulgar Latin *piccāre (“to pick, pierce"), from Frankish *pikkōn, from Proto-Germanic *pikōnÄ…, *pukanÄ… (“to pick, peck, prick, knock"), from Proto-Indo-European *beu-, *bu- (“to make a dull sound"). Cognate with Old English pȳcan, 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.

    From Wiktionary