[ inch ]
/ ɪntʃ /
a unit of length, 1/12 (0.0833) foot, equivalent to 2.54 centimeters.
a very small amount of anything; narrow margin: to win by an inch; to avert disaster by an inch.
verb (used with or without object)
to move by inches or small degrees: We inched our way along the road.
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Idioms for inch
- 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.
every inch, in every respect; completely: That horse is every inch a thoroughbred.
within an inch of, nearly; close to: He came within an inch of getting killed in the crash.
Origin of inch1
before 1000; Middle English; Old English ynce < Latin uncia twelfth part, inch, ounce. See ounce1
Words nearby inch
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for inch by inch (1 of 2)
/ (ɪntʃ) /
a unit of length equal to one twelfth of a foot or 0.0254 metre
- 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
a very small distance, degree, or amount
every inch in every way; completelyhe was every inch an aristocrat
inch by inch gradually; little by little
within an inch of very close to
to move or be moved very slowly or in very small stepsthe car inched forward
(tr foll by out) to defeat (someone) by a very small margin
Word Origin for inch
Old English ynce, from Latin uncia twelfth part; see ounce 1
British Dictionary definitions for inch by inch (2 of 2)
/ (ɪntʃ) /
Scot and Irish a small island
Word Origin for inch
C15: from Gaelic innis island; compare Welsh ynys
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
Scientific definitions for inch by inch
[ ĭnch ]
A unit of length in the US Customary System equal to 112 of a foot (2.54 centimeters). See Table at measurement.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Idioms and Phrases with inch by inch (1 of 2)
inch by inch
see by inches.
Idioms and Phrases with inch by inch (2 of 2)
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
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.