verb (used with or without object)
- narrowly; by a narrow margin: escaped by inches.
- Also inch by inch.by small degrees or stages; gradually: The miners worked their way through the narrow shaft inch by inch.
Origin of inch1
Origin of inch2
Examples from the Web for inch
Contemporary Examples of inch
With a 1¾-inch ice cream scoop (or two spoons), scoop round balls of dough onto the prepared sheet pans.Make These Barefoot Contessa Salty Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
November 28, 2014
Cut the phyllo in half crosswise to make two (7 × 8½-inch) rectangles.The Barefoot Contessa’s Tasty Trip to Paris
November 27, 2014
Anna Whiston-Donaldson is a popular blogger at An Inch of Gray.Book Bag: Reading Your Way Out Of Grief
October 16, 2014
In the coming month, Maynard may play a crucial role in helping the GOP inch forward on this controversial issue.The Beautiful Newlywed Who Made the Right Change Its Mind on Physician-Assisted Death
October 10, 2014
I moved my head one inch off the pillow to find out which it was, and something growled.The Stacks: Pete Dexter on What It’s Like to Lose the Knack of Having Fun
September 20, 2014
Historical Examples of inch
I take it fried, about an inch thick, with plenty of ham fat.
"You were one-quarter of an inch from death, Dozier," he replied.Way of the Lawless
Cut this into strips about 3/4 inch wide, cover, and let rise.
Then, between these layers, put a filling about 1/2 inch thick.
It seemed as if she grew an inch taller in her scorn of the Inspector's saying.Within the Law
- an amount of precipitation that would cover a surface with water one inch deepfive inches of rain fell in January
- a unit of pressure equal to a mercury column one inch high in a barometer
Word Origin for inch
Word Origin for inch
"linear measure, one-twelfth of a foot," late Old English ynce, Middle English unche (current spelling c.1300), from Latin uncia "a twelfth part," from root of unus "one" (see one). An early borrowing from Latin, not found in any other Germanic language. Transferred and figurative sense of "a very small amount" is attested from mid-14c. For phrase give him an inch ... see ell.
"small Scottish island," early 15c., from Gaelic innis (genitive innse) "island, land by a river," from Celtic *inissi (cf. Old Irish inis, Welsh ynys, Breton enez).
"move little by little," 1590s, from inch (n.1). Related: Inched; inching.
In addition to the idioms beginning with inch
- inch along
- inch by inch
- by inches
- every inch
- give an inch
- within an ace (inch) of