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[skwinch] /skwɪntʃ/
noun, Architecture.
a small arch, corbeling, or the like, built across the interior angle between two walls, as in a square tower for supporting the side of a superimposed octagonal spire.
Origin of squinch1
1490-1500; variant of scunch, short for scuncheon, Middle English sconch(e)on < Middle French escoinson, esconchon; see sconcheon


[skwinch] /skwɪntʃ/
verb (used with object)
to contort (the features) or squint.
to squeeze together or contract.
verb (used without object)
to squeeze together or crouch down, as to fit into a smaller space.
1830-40; origin uncertain; cf. squint Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for squinch
Historical Examples
  • I think, Mr. Wallingford,” said Mr. squinch, “I think that we will accept your offer of two shares of stock each for our list.

    Young Wallingford George Randolph Chester
  • Business was business with Mr. squinch, and social calls should be discouraged.

    Young Wallingford George Randolph Chester
  • The old fellow is very superstitious and firmly believes that the "squinch" owl's note is a "sho sign o' death."

  • To him Mr. squinch made his first observation, and it was almost with a snarl.

    Young Wallingford George Randolph Chester
  • No,” announced Mr. squinch, placing his finger-tips ecstatically together, “your plan is not a lottery.

    Young Wallingford George Randolph Chester
  • After thet, hit got so't every time they heerd a squinch owl holler, they'd begin a-shootin' into the bresh with their rifle guns.

    The Gold Girl James B. Hendryx
  • Mr. Turner, Mr. squinch and Mr. Fester looked at one another in turn.

    Young Wallingford George Randolph Chester
  • So they blinks an' winks like a passel of squinch owls, but never onbuckles in no argyooment.

    Faro Nell and Her Friends Alfred Henry Lewis
  • Mr. squinch, over his tightly pressed finger-tips, did a little rapid figuring.

    Young Wallingford George Randolph Chester
  • A squinch thrown across an arcade may be conjectured for strength were it not confuted by two buttresses on the outside.

British Dictionary definitions for squinch


a small arch, corbelling, etc, across an internal corner of a tower, used to support a superstructure such as a spire Also called squinch arch
Word Origin
C15: from obsolete scunch, from Middle English sconcheon, from Old French escoinson, from es-ex-1 + coin corner
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 squinch

1840, of faces. Related: Squinched; squinching.

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



To distort the face; squint: The eyes are squinched with innocence and glint (1840+)

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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