I. verb Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French *pincher, pincer Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. a. to squeeze between the finger and thumb or between the jaws of an instrument b. to prune the tip of (a plant or shoot) usually to induce branching c. to squeeze or compress painfully d. to cause physical or mental pain to e. (1) to cause to appear thin, haggard, or shrunken (2) to cause to shrivel or wither 2. a. to subject to strict economy or want ; straiten b. to restrain or limit narrowly ; constrict 3. a. steal b. arrest 4. to sail too close to the wind intransitive verb 1. compress, squeeze 2. to be miserly or closefisted 3. to press painfully 4. narrow, taper <
the road pinched down to a trail — Cecelia Holland
II. noun Date: 15th century 1. a. a critical juncture ; emergency b. (1) pressure, stress (2) hardship, privation c. deficit 2. a. an act of pinching ; squeeze b. as much as may be taken between the finger and thumb <
a pinch of snuff
c. a very small amount 3. a marked thinning of a vein or bed 4. a. theft b. a police raid; also arrest Synonyms: see juncture III. adjective Date: 1912 1. substitute <
pinch runner
2. hit by a pinch hitter <
a pinch homer

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pinch — may refer to:* Pinch (cooking), a very small amount of an ingredient, typically salt or a spice * Pinch, West VirginiaMathematics and Science* Pinch (plasma physics), the compression of a plasma filament by magnetic forces, or a device which uses …   Wikipedia

  • 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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pinch — [n1] tight pressing compression, confinement, contraction, cramp, grasp, grasping, hurt, limitation, nip, nipping, pressure, squeeze, torment, tweak, twinge; concept 728 pinch [n2] small amount bit, dash, drop, jot, mite, small quantity, soupçon …   New thesaurus

  • Pinch — Pinch, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Pinched}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Pinching}.] [F. pincer, probably fr. OD. pitsen to pinch; akin to G. pfetzen to cut, pinch; perhaps of Celtic origin. Cf. {Piece}.] 1. To press hard or squeeze between the ends of the fingers …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pinch — pinch; pinch·able; pinch·er; pinch·beck; pinch·ing; pinch·ing·ly; …   English syllables

  • pinch — ► VERB 1) grip (the flesh) tightly between finger and thumb. 2) (of a shoe) hurt (a foot) by being too tight. 3) tighten (the lips or a part of the face). 4) informal, chiefly Brit. steal. 5) informal arrest. 6) live in a frugal way …   English terms dictionary

  • pinch — [pinch] vt. [ME pinchen < NormFr * pincher < OFr pincier < VL * pinctiare < ? punctiare, to prick (see PUNCHEON1), infl. by * piccare: see PICADOR] 1. to squeeze between a finger and the thumb or between two surfaces, edges, etc. 2.… …   English World dictionary

  • Pinch — Pinch, v. i. 1. To act with pressing force; to compress; to squeeze; as, the shoe pinches. [1913 Webster] 2. (Hunt.) To take hold; to grip, as a dog does. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] 3. To spare; to be niggardly; to be covetous. Gower. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pinch — Pinch, WV U.S. Census Designated Place in West Virginia Population (2000): 2811 Housing Units (2000): 1194 Land area (2000): 3.507567 sq. miles (9.084557 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.037141 sq. miles (0.096194 sq. km) Total area (2000): 3.544708… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • pinch —    , pinch pot    Pinching is a pottery technique, fundamental to manipulating clay. Making a pinch pot is pressing the thumb into a ball of clay, and drawing the clay out into a pot by repeatedly squeezing the clay between the thumb and fingers …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • pinch — The idiom at a pinch, meaning ‘if absolutely necessary’, is the BrE form; in AmE it has the form in a pinch …   Modern English usage

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