At a pinch
Pinch Pinch, n. 1. A close compression, as with the ends of the fingers, or with an instrument; a nip. [1913 Webster]

2. As much as may be taken between the finger and thumb; any very small quantity; as, a pinch of snuff. [1913 Webster]

3. Pian; pang. ``Necessary's sharp pinch.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. A lever having a projection at one end, acting as a fulcrum, -- used chiefly to roll heavy wheels, etc. Called also {pinch bar}. [1913 Webster]

{At a pinch}, {On a pinch}, in an emergency; as, he could on a pinch read a little Latin. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

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  • at a pinch — IF NECESSARY, if need be, in an emergency, just possibly, with difficulty; N. Amer. in a pinch; Brit. informal at a push. → pinch * * * at a pinch In a case of necessity or emergency • • • Main Entry: ↑pinch * * * at a pinch informal …   Useful english dictionary

  • at a pinch —    To say that something could be done at a pinch means that it would be possible to do it if absolutely necessary.     The hall can seat 50 people comfortably, and a few more at a pinch …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • at a pinch — British & Australian, American if something can be done at a pinch, it is possible in an urgent situation but it is difficult. Will s car can take four people comfortably, five at a pinch …   New idioms dictionary

  • at a pinch — informal if it becomes necessary and you have no choice. The American expression is in a pinch I suppose that, at a pinch, we could use my car …   English dictionary

  • at a pinch — ► at (or N. Amer. in) a pinch if absolutely necessary. Main Entry: ↑pinch …   English terms dictionary

  • at a pinch — In an emergency, in a difficulty, if things come to the worst …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • at a pinch — adverb /ˌæ.təˈpɪnʃ/ By the skin of one’s teeth; only just; Deo volente; perhaps; if you’re lucky …   Wiktionary

  • at a pinch — in difficulty …   English contemporary dictionary

  • at a pinch —  In an emergency …   A concise dictionary of English slang

  • Jack-at-a-pinch — Jack Jack (j[a^]k), n. [F. Jacques James, L. Jacobus, Gr. ?, Heb. Ya aq[=o]b Jacob; prop., seizing by the heel; hence, a supplanter. Cf. {Jacobite}, {Jockey}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A familiar nickname of, or substitute for, John. [1913 Webster] You… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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