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pinch Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a painful or straitened circumstance
    • the pinch of the recession
  2. noun an injury resulting from getting some body part squeezed
  3. noun a slight but appreciable amount
    jot; speck; hint; soupcon; touch; mite; tinge.
    • this dish could use a touch of garlic
  4. noun a sudden unforeseen crisis (usually involving danger) that requires immediate action
    exigency; emergency.
    • he never knew what to do in an emergency
  5. noun a small sharp bite or snip
    nip.
  6. noun a squeeze with the fingers
    tweak.
  7. noun the act of apprehending (especially apprehending a criminal)
    taking into custody; apprehension; arrest; catch; collar.
    • the policeman on the beat got credit for the collar
  8. verb squeeze tightly between the fingers
    twitch; tweet; twinge; nip; squeeze.
    • He pinched her behind
    • She squeezed the bottle
  9. verb make ridges into by pinching together
    crimp.
  10. verb make off with belongings of others
    pilfer; filch; abstract; swipe; sneak; purloin; hook; lift; snarf; cabbage; nobble.
  11. verb cut the top off
    top.
    • top trees and bushes
  12. verb irritate as if by a nip, pinch, or tear
    vellicate.
    • smooth surfaces can vellicate the teeth
    • the pain is as if sharp points pinch your back
WordNet

Pinch transitive verb
Etymology
F. pincer, probably fr. OD. pitsen to pinch; akin to G. pfetzen to cut, pinch; perhaps of Celtic origin. Cf. Piece.
Wordforms
imperfect & past participle Pinched ; present participle & verbal noun Pinching
Definitions
  1. To press hard or squeeze between the ends of the fingers, between teeth or claws, or between the jaws of an instrument; to squeeze or compress, as between any two hard bodies.
  2. o seize; to grip; to bite; -- said of animals. Obs.
    He [the hound] pinched and pulled her down. Chapman.
  3. To plait. Obs.
    Full seemly her wimple ipinched was. Chaucer.
  4. Figuratively: To cramp; to straiten; to oppress; to starve; to distress; as, to be pinched for money.
    Want of room . . . pinching a whole nation. Sir W. Raleigh.
  5. To move, as a railroad car, by prying the wheels with a pinch. See Pinch, n., 4.
Pinch intransitive verb
Definitions
  1. To act with pressing force; to compress; to squeeze; as, the shoe pinches.
  2. (Hunt.) To take hold; to grip, as a dog does. Obs.
  3. To spare; to be niggardly; to be covetous. Gower.
    The wretch whom avarice bids to pinch and spare. Franklin.
    Chaucer.
Pinch noun
Definitions
  1. A close compression, as with the ends of the fingers, or with an instrument; a nip.
  2. As much as may be taken between the finger and thumb; any very small quantity; as, a pinch of snuff.
  3. Pian; pang. "Necessary's sharp pinch." Shak.
  4. A lever having a projection at one end, acting as a fulcrum, -- used chiefly to roll heavy wheels, etc. Called also pinch bar.

Webster 1913


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