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
Examples from the Web for pinched
Contemporary Examples of pinched
Her novels typically evoke this pinched sense of an era—raw individuals in raw times.Sarah Waters: Queen of the Tortured Lesbian Romance
September 30, 2014
At one Broadway premiere I was sent to cover, I interviewed Elaine Stritch, who called me adorable and then pinched my butt.Elaine Stritch Pinched My Butt and Changed My Life
July 17, 2014
Drake sold all 187 head of cattle two years ago, pinched by regulated milk prices and the rising costs of independent farming.How the Kings of Fracking Double-Crossed Their Way to Riches
March 13, 2014
In an era in which discretionary spending is pinched, most retailers would kill to have this kind of growth.Wall Street Sours on Lululemon’s Growth
September 12, 2013
Sure, in pinched economic times, people are spending less on health care.Bombshell CBO Report Says Deficit Shrinking
May 15, 2013
Historical Examples of pinched
"Yes, that was right," he said absently, and pinched a spray of southernwood that grew beside the door.Meadow Grass
Then Mamie let Maggie squeeze; but she pinched harder than Bessie had done, and hurt it a little.Bessie at the Sea-Side
Now we walk together for a while; now we separate, sick of seeing one another's pinched faces, but we keep within call.Rodman the Keeper
Constance Fenimore Woolson
And then you went and pinched the farm maids in their beds, and made them dream of their lovers, mischievous young toads!Furze the Cruel
And I am always lucky with my speculations; I shant be pinched.Paths of Judgement
Anne Douglas Sedgwick
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