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
Related Words for inchingdragging, slow, slacken, wane, trail, decrease, falter, diminish, fail, bend, saunter, poke, slither, drag, wriggle, plod, slide, squirm, clamber, inch
Examples from the Web for inching
Contemporary Examples of 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
Historical Examples of inching
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
- 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
"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).
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