\ ˈpinch-ˈhit How to pronounce pinch-hit (audio) , ˌpinch- \
pinch-hit; pinch-hitting; pinch-hits

Definition of pinch-hit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to act or serve in place of another
2 : to bat in the place of another player especially when a hit is particularly needed

pinch hit


Definition of pinch hit (Entry 2 of 2)

: a hit made by a pinch hitter

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Examples of pinch-hit in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Sandoval’s 14 home runs tie him for second place on the club with starting third baseman Evan Longoria and his 18 pinch hits have tied him for the San Francisco Giants franchise record with Ken Oberkfell, who recorded 18 in 1989. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Pablo Sandoval’s elbow injury a crushing blow to Giants team that needs his energy," 14 Aug. 2019 Jarrod Dyson and Robbie Ray — a pitcher who had to pinch hit — struck out before Christian Walker was intentionally walked to load the bases. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Vargas hits game-winner in 19th, D-backs top Cards 3-2," 25 Sep. 2019 Melvin pinch hit Chad Pinder for Robbie Grossman, and Pinder lined a two-strike drive into the right field gap — but right-fielder Jon Jay caught up to catch it for the biggest out of the game. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "Athletics’ ninth-inning comeback falls short in loss to White Sox," 10 Aug. 2019 Rafael Devers was out of the lineup for a second consecutive game with tightness in his right hamstring but pinch hit in the ninth and struck out. Peter Abraham,, "Michael Chavis regroups, extends hitting streak to 11 games," 23 June 2019 But Straburg induced a popout from Correa for a crucial second out, and Astros manager A.J. Hinch tossed rookie Kyle Tucker to pinch hit. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Nationals crush Astros in Game 2 to take commanding World Series lead," 24 Oct. 2019 All are right-handed batters, and all knew that if the Washington Nationals persisted in their playoff pattern of using starters in relief, they might very well be called upon to pinch hit against $140 million lefty Patrick Corbin. San Diego Union-Tribune, "7 2-out runs in 6th lift LA past Nats 10-4 for 2-1 NLDS lead," 6 Oct. 2019 Astudillo delivered a big moment of his own when he was called upon to pinch hit with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh. Betsy Helfand, Twin Cities, "Twins finish wild, fulfilling road trip with win over Red Sox," 5 Sep. 2019 The popular third baseman and one of the team’s final connections to their World Series glory days was sent to the plate to pinch hit in the seventh inning against the San Diego Padres. Jeff Faraudo, The Mercury News, "Loud cheers but no magic in Pablo Sandoval’s likely last cameo," 1 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pinch-hit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pinch-hit


1911, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1927, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pinch-hit


back-formation from pinch hitter

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Time Traveler for pinch-hit

Time Traveler

The first known use of pinch-hit was in 1911

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Statistics for pinch-hit

Cite this Entry

“Pinch-hit.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 27 January 2020.

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More Definitions for pinch-hit


How to pronounce pinch hit (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pinch-hit

baseball : to bat in the place of another player
informal : to act or serve in place of another person

More from Merriam-Webster on pinch-hit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pinch-hit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pinch-hit

Comments on pinch-hit

What made you want to look up pinch-hit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that suddenly gains wealth or power

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