lead-pipe cinch


noun Slang.

an absolute certainty: It's a lead-pipe cinch they'll be there.
something very easy to accomplish: Getting him elected will be a lead-pipe cinch.

Nearby words

  1. lead white,
  2. lead with one's chin,
  3. lead-free,
  4. lead-in,
  5. lead-off,
  6. lead-up,
  7. leadbeater's cockatoo,
  8. leadbelly,
  9. leaded,
  10. leaden

Origin of lead-pipe cinch

An Americanism dating back to 1895–1900

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Idioms and Phrases with lead-pipe cinch

lead-pipe cinch

A certainty, an assured success. For example, “An engagement ain't always a lead-pipe cinch” (O. Henry, The Sphinx Apple, 1907). This colloquial expression is of disputed origin. It may allude to the cinch that tightly holds a horse's saddle in place, which can make it easier for the rider to succeed in a race; or it may allude to a cinch in plumbing, in which a lead pipe is fastened with a band of steel to another pipe or a fixture, making a very secure joint. [Late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.