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[sinch] /sɪntʃ/
a strong girth used on stock saddles, having a ring at each end to which a strap running from the saddle is secured.
a firm hold or tight grip.
  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.
verb (used with object)
to gird with a cinch; gird or bind firmly.
Informal. to seize on or make sure of; guarantee:
Ability and hard work cinched her success.
Origin of cinch1
1855-60, Americanism; < Spanish cincha < Latin cingula girth, equivalent to cing(ere) to gird + -ula -ule Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for cinching
Historical Examples
  • He started running toward the lifeship, too, cinching his belt as he ran.

    A Woman's Place Mark Irvin Clifton
  • I walked toward Kyla, who was cinching a final load on one of the pack-animals, which she did efficiently enough.

    The Planet Savers Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • The nervous woman who had never been on a horse before was cinching her own saddle and looking back and up.

    Through Glacier Park Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • But Craig shook his head lazily, and Wade, cinching his loosened belt, limped with aching legs down the slope.

    The Lilac Girl Ralph Henry Barbour
  • We got the saddles and flung them on the ponies, cinching them good and tight, and then put on the bridles.

  • He supplies his own pack animals, is past master in cinching on a load, and makes all bargains and pays all bills in our behalf.

    On the Mexican Highlands William Seymour Edwards
  • Leroy, making an end of slapping on and cinching the last saddle, wheeled suddenly on the Irishman.

    Bucky O'Connor William MacLeod Raine
  • In cinching up, be sure you know your animal; some puff themselves out so that in five minutes the cinch will hang loose.

    Camp and Trail Stewart Edward White
  • Make fast end a at c, and end d at e, cinching up strongly on the bights that come through the cinch rings.

    Camp and Trail Stewart Edward White
  • He was untying his horse, with quick decided movements, and cinching up the girth.

    For the Soul of Rafael Marah Ellis Ryan
British Dictionary definitions for cinching


(slang) an easy task
(slang) a certainty
(US & Canadian) a band around a horse's belly to keep the saddle in position Also called (in Britain and certain other countries) girth
(informal) a firm grip
(often foll by up) (US & Canadian) to fasten a girth around (a horse)
(transitive) (informal) to make sure of
(transitive) (informal) to get a firm grip on
Word Origin
C19: from Spanish cincha saddle girth, from Latin cingula girdle, from cingere to encircle


a card game in which the five of trumps ranks highest
Word Origin
C19: probably from cinch1
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
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Word Origin and History for cinching



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).


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for cinching



  1. A certainty; something sure to happen; sure thing: It's a cinch they'll win (1880s+ Cowboys)
  2. Something easily done; breeze, piece of cake: Going up is a bother, coming down's a cinch (1890+)


To make something certain; clinch, NAIL something DOWN: We cinched it with a last-second field goal (1883+)

Related Terms

have something cinched, lead-pipe cinch

[fr Spanish cincha, ''saddle girth,'' which, when tight, fosters certainty]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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