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cinch1

[sinch]
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noun
  1. a strong girth used on stock saddles, having a ring at each end to which a strap running from the saddle is secured.
  2. a firm hold or tight grip.
  3. Informal.
    1. something sure or easy: This problem is a cinch.
    2. a person or thing certain to fulfill an expectation, especially a team or contestant certain to win a sporting event: The Giants are a cinch to win Sunday's game.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to gird with a cinch; gird or bind firmly.
  2. Informal. to seize on or make sure of; guarantee: Ability and hard work cinched her success.
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Origin of cinch1

1855–60, Americanism; < Spanish cincha < Latin cingula girth, equivalent to cing(ere) to gird + -ula -ule

cinch2

[sinch]
noun Cards.
  1. a variety of the game all fours.
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Origin of cinch2

1885–90; perhaps < Spanish cinco five, a card game
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for cinch

cinch1

noun
  1. slang an easy task
  2. slang a certainty
  3. US and Canadian a band around a horse's belly to keep the saddle in positionAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): girth
  4. informal a firm grip
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verb
  1. (often foll by up) US and Canadian to fasten a girth around (a horse)
  2. (tr) informal to make sure of
  3. (tr) informal to get a firm grip on
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Word Origin

C19: from Spanish cincha saddle girth, from Latin cingula girdle, from cingere to encircle

cinch2

noun
  1. a card game in which the five of trumps ranks highest
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Word Origin

C19: probably from cinch 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cinch

n.

1859, American English, "saddle-girth," from Spanish cincha "girdle," from Latin cingulum "a girdle, a swordbelt," from cingere "to surround, encircle," from PIE root *kenk- (1) "to gird, encircle" (cf. Sanskrit kankate "binds," kanci "girdle;" Lithuanian kinkau "to harness horses"). Replaced earlier surcingle. Sense of "an easy thing" is 1898, via notion of "a sure hold" (1888).

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v.

1866, "to pull in," from cinch (n.). Figurative meaning "make certain" is from 1891, American English slang. Related: Cinched; cinching.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper