a unit of length, 1/12 (0.0833) foot, equivalent to 2.54 centimeters.
a very small amount of anything; narrow margin:
to win by an inch; to avert disaster by an inch.
to move by inches or small degrees:
We inched our way along the road.
by inches,

narrowly; by a narrow margin:
escaped by inches.
Also, inch by inch. by small degrees or stages; gradually:
The miners worked their way through the narrow shaft inch by inch.

every inch, in every respect; completely:
That horse is every inch a thoroughbred.
within an inch of, nearly; close to:
He came within an inch of getting killed in the crash.
a small island near the seacoast.
Contemporary Examples

Cat Cora’s Valentine’s Day Menu for Single People Cat Cora February 12, 2014
Sweet Brits Lydia Brownlow April 3, 2011
The Grammys Train Wreck: An Insult to Lou Reed, Hip-Hop, and Good Taste Marlow Stern January 26, 2014
How Hurricane Sandy Rocked the Art Galleries in Chelsea Blake Gopnik November 5, 2012
Dante de Blasio’s Killer Ad May Have Won NYC Primary for His Dad David Freedlander September 13, 2013

Historical Examples

A Trip to California in 1853 Washington Bailey
Punchinello, Vol. 1. No. 20, August 13, 1870 Various
Wild Life Near Home Dallas Lore Sharp
Woman’s Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 4 Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
The Pony Rider Boys in New Mexico Frank Gee Patchin

a unit of length equal to one twelfth of a foot or 0.0254 metre

an amount of precipitation that would cover a surface with water one inch deep: five inches of rain fell in January
a unit of pressure equal to a mercury column one inch high in a barometer

a very small distance, degree, or amount
every inch, in every way; completely: he was every inch an aristocrat
inch by inch, gradually; little by little
within an inch of, very close to
to move or be moved very slowly or in very small steps: the car inched forward
(transitive) foll by out. to defeat (someone) by a very small margin
(Scot & Irish) a small island
A unit of length in the US Customary System equal to 1/12 of a foot (2.54 centimeters). See Table at measurement.

inch along
inch by inch


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