- 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.
- to move by inches or small degrees: We inched our way along the road.
- by inches,
- 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
Examples from the Web for inching
But it is also incredibly moving and instructive to watch the inching towards social justice.How Gay Marriage Was Won: Prop 8’s Destruction Captured In HBO Movie
June 6, 2014
Another clue that the royal relationship might be inching forwards.Cressy's Brother's Fears For Her Safety
March 25, 2014
Surprisingly, the official tells us, Utah is inching toward accepting the money, as is Tennessee.States Edge Closer to Medicaid Expansion: Who’ll Go First?
January 8, 2014
Knowing this, Bing has been gently, though strategically, inching its way into the inner circle.After Four Lonely Years, It’s Time to Give Bing a Chance
July 29, 2013
Inching towards the opposing positions will never bridge the yawning chasm between them.The Reality Behind Kerry's Optimism
July 1, 2013
I was inching now, coming back like a blind man feeling his way.Highways in Hiding
George Oliver Smith
He'd get one finger into a hole and pull, inching his body against the beam.A Matter of Proportion
Loren's hand was inching out toward the yellow and brown neck.'Mid Pleasures and Palaces
His worship observed, that he had never heard the verb "inching" used before, and therefore he had asked for an explanation.Mornings at Bow Street
And this craft bore past there often, inching its downward way with swifters of logs, driving fast up-lake without a tow.Big Timber
Bertrand W. Sinclair
- 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
- Scot and Irish a small island
Word Origin and History for inching
"move little by little," 1590s, from inch (n.1). Related: Inched; inching.
"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).
- A unit of length in the US Customary System equal to 112 of a foot (2.54 centimeters). See Table at measurement.
Idioms and Phrases with 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