pinch hitter


noun

Baseball. a substitute who bats for a teammate, often at a critical moment of the game.
any substitute for another, especially in an emergency.

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Origin of pinch hitter

An Americanism dating back to 1910–15
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Idioms and Phrases with pinch hitter

pinch hitter

A substitute for another person, especially in an emergency. For example, Pat expected her mother to help with the baby, but just in case, she lined up her mother-in-law as pinch hitter. This expression comes from baseball, where it is used for a player substituting for another at bat at a critical point or in a tight situation (called a pinch since the late 1400s). [Late 1800s]

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