\ˈpinch-ˈhit, 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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Synonyms for pinch-hit

Synonyms: Verb

cover, fill in, stand in, step in, sub, substitute, take over

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Examples of pinch-hit in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Rookie Nate Orf, pinch hitting for Guerra, drew a leadoff walk from Twins starter Jake Odorizzi to put a runner on base for the top of the order. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Eric Thames, strong pitching effort shut out Twins, 2-0," 3 July 2018 No limp was evident when Mike Scioscia tapped him to lead off the bottom of Sunday’s seventh inning by pinch hitting for first baseman Jefry Marte. Ethan Bauer,, "Five things we learned from the Angels' series-clinching 4-3 win over the Dodgers," 9 July 2018 Then Pedro Álvarez came up to pinch hit and struck out against reliever Brandon Workman. Peter Schmuck,, "Slumping Orioles try to play small ball, but that doesn't work either," 12 June 2018 Rest day Victor Martinez was was not in the starting lineup, though was available to pinch hit, on Sunday after going 4-for-10 with two RBIs and two runs scored in the first three games of the series in Seattle. George Sipple, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers' Gardenhire, Goodrum look forward to Minnesota return," 20 May 2018 JT Riddle pinch hit for Yadiel Rivera and scorched a line drive to left field that Michael Conforto snared with a diving catch. Andre C. Fernandez, miamiherald, "Future may look bright, but Marlins still dealing with offensive woes in the present," 1 July 2018 La Stella leads the major leagues with 13 pinch hits. Mark Gonzales,, "Jon Lester expects great plays from Cubs' exceptional defensive players," 20 June 2018 The previously unknown weapon, known as Sea Dragon, supposedly combines existing an U.S. Navy platform with an existing capability, is likely a new version of a versatile air defense missile capable of pinch hitting as an anti-ship missile. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "What Is the Navy’s Secret 'Sea Dragon' Weapon?," 11 June 2018 His seven pinch hits this season are the second most in the majors. Matt Breen,, "Aaron Nola was 'Noles being Noles' | Extra Innings," 14 May 2018

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

The first known use of pinch-hit was in 1911

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English Language Learners Definition of pinch-hit

baseball : to bat in the place of another player

: to act or serve in place of another person

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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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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