verb (used with object)
- to steal.
- to arrest.
verb (used without object)
- to diminish.
- to diminish to nothing (sometimes followed by out).
Origin of pinch
Related Words for pinchdash, crunch, crush, tweak, cramp, squeeze, hurt, scrape, limitation, compression, twinge, pressure, confinement, torment, grasp, grasping, nip, contraction, jot
Examples from the Web for pinch
Contemporary Examples of pinch
Pinch it with your fingers until it makes large crumbles and distribute it on the berries (it will not cover them entirely).The Barefoot Contessa Knows How To Make Us Crumble
November 30, 2014
“As much as I want to complain, I have to pinch myself that this is happening,” she said.Dumps and Death Threats, Hecklers and Vindication: True Tales from Today’s DIY Book Tour
August 12, 2014
Picture a slightly younger Alice with a pinch more physical humor in an office.Ann B. Davis Was the Zesty Antidote to the Bradys
June 2, 2014
A pinch hitter named Pickle Smith was announced for Jacksonville.The Great Paul Hemphill Celebrates the Long Gone Birmingham Barons
March 29, 2014
And what better way to rally the troops (and they're all troops, in a pinch) than by pointing out the enormity of the enemy?North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un’s Game of Thrones
December 15, 2013
Historical Examples of pinch
Gray Peter's heart was never in doubt, but what would Sally's courage be in a pinch?
The pinch was bound to come in a town where every man wore his gun.
In a pinch they would obey you nearly as well as they obey me.
I presume half our people, on a pinch, could have brought the Sterling in.
In a word, I had too much, though I could have carried a good deal more, on a pinch.
Word Origin for pinch
early 13c., from Old North French *pinchier "to pinch, squeeze, nip; steal" (Old French pincier, Modern French pincer), of uncertain origin, possibly from Vulgar Latin *punctiare "to pierce," which might be a blend of Latin punctum "point" + *piccare "to pierce." Meaning "to steal" in English is from 1650s. Sense of "to be stingy" is recorded from early 14c. Related: Pinched; pinching.
late 15c., "critical juncture" (as in baseball pinch hitter, attested from 1912), from pinch (v.). This figurative sense is attested earlier than the literal sense of "act of pinching" (1590s) or that of "small quantity" (as much as can be pinched between a thumb and finger), which is from 1580s. There is a use of the noun from mid-15c. apparently meaning "fold or pleat of fabric."
In addition to the idioms beginning with pinch
- pinch hitter
- pinch pennies
- feel the pinch
- in a pinch
- with a grain (pinch) of salt