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 cinch

1855–60, Americanism; < Spanish cincha < Latin cingula girth, equivalent to cing(ere) to gird + -ula -ule Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cinching

Historical Examples of cinching

  • He started running toward the lifeship, too, cinching his belt as he ran.

    A Woman's Place

    Mark Irvin Clifton

  • "Oh, no; not at all; in cinching the other fellows," Smith put in genially.

    The Real Man

    Francis Lynde

  • 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

  • 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

  • As they were cinching them up—as the tightening of the girths is called—Mr. Worth returned.

    Cattle-Ranch to College

    Russell Doubleday

British Dictionary definitions for cinching




slang an easy task
slang a certainty
US and Canadian a band around a horse's belly to keep the saddle in positionAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): girth
informal a firm grip


(often foll by up) US and Canadian to fasten a girth around (a horse)
(tr) informal to make sure of
(tr) informal to get a firm grip on

Word Origin for cinch

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 for cinch

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 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