By inches
Inch Inch, n. [OE. inche, unche, AS. ynce, L. uncia the twelfth part, inch, ounce. See {Ounce} a weight.] [1913 Webster] 1. A measure of length, the twelfth part of a foot, commonly subdivided into halves, quarters, eights, sixteenths, etc., as among mechanics. It was also formerly divided into twelve parts, called lines, and originally into three parts, called barleycorns, its length supposed to have been determined from three grains of barley placed end to end lengthwise. It is also sometimes called a prime ('), composed of twelve seconds (''), as in the duodecimal system of arithmetic. [1913 Webster]

12 seconds ('') make 1 inch or prime. 12 inches or primes (') make 1 foot. --B. Greenleaf. [1913 Webster]

Note: The meter, the accepted scientific standard of length, equals 39.37 inches; the inch is equal to 2.54 centimeters. See {Metric system}, and {Meter}. [1913 Webster]

2. A small distance or degree, whether of time or space; hence, a critical moment; also used metaphorically of minor concessins in bargaining; as, he won't give an inch; give him an inch and he'll take a mile. [1913 Webster]

Beldame, I think we watched you at an inch. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{By inches}, by slow degrees, gradually.

{Inch of candle}. See under {Candle}.

{Inches of pressure}, usually, the pressure indicated by so many inches of a mercury column, as on a steam gauge.

{Inch of water}. See under {Water}.

{Miner's inch}, (Hydraulic Mining), a unit for the measurement of water. See {Inch of water}, under {Water}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • by inches — adverb by a short distance they moved it by inches • Syn: ↑little by little, ↑by small degrees * * * adverb also inch by inch : very gradually or slowly * * * by inches ● …   Useful english dictionary

  • by inches — {adv. phr.} By small or slow degrees; little by little; gradually. * /The river was rising by inches./ * /They got a heavy wooden beam under the barn for a lever, and managed to move it by inches./ * /He was dying by inches./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • by inches — {adv. phr.} By small or slow degrees; little by little; gradually. * /The river was rising by inches./ * /They got a heavy wooden beam under the barn for a lever, and managed to move it by inches./ * /He was dying by inches./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • by\ inches — adv. phr. By small or slow degrees; little by little; gradually. The river was rising by inches. They got a heavy wooden beam under the barn for a lever, and managed to move it by inches. He was dying by inches …   Словарь американских идиом

  • by inches — little by little, gradually …   English contemporary dictionary

  • kill by inches — To kill gradually, eg by torture • • • Main Entry: ↑kill …   Useful english dictionary

  • die by inches — die slowly …   English contemporary dictionary

  • kill by inches — kill slowly, kill in phases …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Inches of pressure — Inch Inch, n. [OE. inche, unche, AS. ynce, L. uncia the twelfth part, inch, ounce. See {Ounce} a weight.] [1913 Webster] 1. A measure of length, the twelfth part of a foot, commonly subdivided into halves, quarters, eights, sixteenths, etc., as… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • by small degrees — adverb by a short distance they moved it by inches • Syn: ↑by inches, ↑little by little …   Useful english dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”