Definition of pinchbeck
1 : an alloy of copper and zinc used especially to imitate gold in jewelry
2 : something counterfeit or spurious
pinchbeck was our Word of the Day on 07/31/2013. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
On November 27, 1732, an advertisement ran in a British newspaper announcing that "the toys made of the late ingenious Mr. Pinchbeck's curious metal ... are now sold only by his son. . .." The Mr. Pinchbeck in question was Christopher Pinchbeck, a London watchmaker who invented the alloy that would be posthumously named for him. Although the metal is used as a substitute for gold, the word pinchbeck, which can also be used as an adjective, didn't acquire its "counterfeit" sense until the 1790s, over 50 years after Pinchbeck's death.
Origin and Etymology of pinchbeck
Christopher Pinchbeck †1732 English watchmaker
First Known Use: 1734See Words from the same year
Learn More about pinchbeck
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up pinchbeck? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).