verb (used with object)
to squeeze or compress between the finger and thumb, the teeth, the jaws of an instrument, or the like.
to constrict or squeeze painfully, as a tight shoe does.
to cramp within narrow bounds or quarters:
The crowd pinched him into a corner.
to render (the face, body, etc.) unnaturally constricted or drawn, as pain or distress does:
Years of hardship had pinched her countenance beyond recognition.
to affect with sharp discomfort or distress, as cold, hunger, or need does.
to straiten in means or circumstances:
The depression pinched them.
to stint (a person, family, etc.) in allowance of money, food, or the like:
They were severely pinched by the drought.
to hamper or inconvenience by the lack of something specified:
The builders were pinched by the shortage of good lumber.
to stint the supply or amount of (a thing).
to put a pinch or small quantity of (a powder, spice, etc.) into something.
to roll or slide (a heavy object) with leverage from a pinch bar.
Digital Technology. to move two or more fingers toward or away from each other on (a touchscreen) in order to execute a command (often followed by in or out):
Zoom in by pinching the screen.
Horticulture. to remove or shorten (buds or shoots) in order to produce a certain shape of the plant, improve the quality of the bloom or fruit, or increase the development of buds (often followed by out, off, or back).
Nautical. to sail (a ship) so close to the wind that the sails shake slightly and the speed is reduced.
Horse Racing, British. to press (a horse) to the point of exhaustion.
verb (used without object)
to exert a sharp or painful constricting force:
This shoe pinches.
to cause sharp discomfort or distress:
Their stomachs were pinched with hunger.
to economize unduly; stint oneself:
They pinched and scraped for years to save money for a car.
Digital Technology. to move the fingers toward or away from each other on a touchscreen (often followed by in or out):
Pinching in will zoom in, and pinching out will zoom out.
Nautical. to trim a sail too flat when sailing to windward.
the act of pinching; nip; squeeze.
as much of anything as can be taken up between the finger and thumb:
a pinch of salt.
a very small quantity of anything:
a pinch of pungent wit.
sharp or painful stress, as of hunger, need, or any trying circumstances:
the pinch of conscience; to feel the pinch of poverty.
a situation or time of special stress, especially an emergency:
A friend is someone who will stand by you in a pinch.
Slang. a raid or an arrest.
Slang. a theft.
Digital Technology. an act or instance of pinching a touchscreen.
pinch pennies, to stint on or be frugal or economical with expenditures; economize:
I’ll have to pinch pennies if I’m going to get through school.
with a pinch of salt. 1 (def 24).
Also, with a grain of salt.
to press (something, esp flesh) tightly between two surfaces, esp between a finger and the thumb See nip1
to confine, squeeze, or painfully press (toes, fingers, etc) because of lack of space: these shoes pinch
(transitive) to cause stinging pain to: the cold pinched his face
(transitive) to make thin or drawn-looking, as from grief, lack of food, etc
(usually foll by on) to provide (oneself or another person) with meagre allowances, amounts, etc
pinch pennies, to live frugally because of meanness or to economize
(transitive) (nautical) to sail (a sailing vessel) so close to the wind that her sails begin to luff and she loses way
(intransitive) sometimes foll by out. (of a vein of ore) to narrow or peter out
usually foll by off, out, or back. to remove the tips of (buds, shoots, etc) to correct or encourage growth
(transitive) (informal) to steal or take without asking
(transitive) (informal) to arrest
a squeeze or sustained nip
the quantity of a substance, such as salt, that can be taken between a thumb and finger
a very small quantity
a critical situation; predicament; emergency: if it comes to the pinch we’ll have to manage
the pinch, sharp, painful, or extreme stress, need, etc: feeling the pinch of poverty
See pinch bar
(slang) a robbery
(slang) a police raid or arrest
at a pinch, if absolutely necessary
with a pinch of salt, with a grain of salt, without wholly believing; sceptically
early 13c., from Old North French *pinchier “to pinch, squeeze, nip; steal” (Old French pincier, Modern French pincer), of uncertain origin, possibly from Vulgar Latin *punctiare “to pierce,” which might be a blend of Latin punctum “point” + *piccare “to pierce.” Meaning “to steal” in English is from 1650s. Sense of “to be stingy” is recorded from early 14c. Related: Pinched; pinching.
late 15c., “critical juncture” (as in baseball pinch hitter, attested from 1912), from pinch (v.). This figurative sense is attested earlier than the literal sense of “act of pinching” (1590s) or that of “small quantity” (as much as can be pinched between a thumb and finger), which is from 1580s. There is a use of the noun from mid-15c. apparently meaning “fold or pleat of fabric.”
: make a respectable number of pinches to stay off the transfer list (1900+)
in a pinch
[pinch-bak] /ˈpɪntʃˌbæk/ noun 1. Pinckney Benton Stewart, 1837–1921, U.S. politician.
[pinch-bek] /ˈpɪntʃ bɛk/ noun 1. an alloy of copper and zinc, used in imitation of gold. 2. something sham, spurious, or counterfeit. adjective 3. made of pinchbeck. 4. sham, spurious, or counterfeit: pinchbeck heroism. /ˈpɪntʃˌbɛk/ noun 1. an alloy of copper and zinc, used as imitation gold 2. a spurious or cheap imitation; sham adjective […]
noun 1. a kind of crowbar or lever with a projection that serves as a fulcrum. noun 1. a crowbar with a lug formed on it to provide a fulcrum
[pinch-bot-l] /ˈpɪntʃˌbɒt l/ noun 1. a with concave sides, as for containing liquor.