1

pinch

play
verb \ ˈpinch \

Definition of pinch

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
2 :to be miserly or closefisted
3 :to press painfully
4 :narrow, taper
  • the road pinched down to a trail
  • —Cecelia Holland
pinch pennies
:to practice strict economy

Examples of pinch in a Sentence

  1. My little brother is always trying to pinch me.

  2. He pinched her cheeks and told her how cute she was.

  3. Pinch together the edges of the dough.

  4. He pinched the top of his nose to stop the bleeding and leaned forward.

  5. He pinched off the top of the shoots.

  6. She pinched back the new growth.

  7. These new shoes are pinching my toes.

  8. I pinched my fingers in the door.

  9. By pinching and scraping, she managed to save enough money to buy a new car.

Recent Examples of pinch from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of pinch

Middle English, from Anglo-French *pincher, pincer

pinch Synonyms

Synonyms
nip
Antonyms
discharge
Related Words
crimp, tweak; clasp, clutch, grasp, grip, hold, take
Near Antonyms
drop, free, loose, loosen, release, spring

2

pinch

noun

Definition of pinch

1 a :a critical juncture :emergency
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

Examples of pinch in a Sentence

  1. the pinch of my favorite sweater really bugged me!

  2. an innocent person caught up in a city-wide pinch of drug dealers

Recent Examples of pinch from the Web

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

First Known Use of pinch

15th century

pinch Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of pinch

juncture, exigency, emergency, contingency, pinch, strait (or straits) crisis mean a critical or crucial time or state of affairs. juncture stresses the significant concurrence or convergence of events.
    • an important juncture in our country's history
exigency stresses the pressure of restrictions or urgency of demands created by a special situation.
    • provide for exigencies
emergency applies to a sudden unforeseen situation requiring prompt action to avoid disaster.
    • the presence of mind needed to deal with emergencies
contingency implies an emergency or exigency that is regarded as possible but uncertain of occurrence.
    • contingency plans
pinch implies urgency or pressure for action to a less intense degree than exigency or emergency.
    • come through in a pinch
strait, now commonly straits, applies to a troublesome situation from which escape is extremely difficult.
    • in dire straits
crisis applies to a juncture whose outcome will make a decisive difference.
    • a crisis of confidence

3

pinch

adjective

Definition of pinch

1 :substitute
  • pinch runner
2 :hit by a pinch hitter
  • a pinch homer

Examples of pinch in a Sentence

  1. A pinch homer won the game.

First Known Use of pinch

1912



PINCH Defined for English Language Learners

pinch

play
verb

Definition of pinch for English Language Learners

  • : to squeeze (someone's skin) between your thumb and finger often in a painful way

  • : to squeeze or press (something) together with your thumb and finger

  • : to remove (part of a plant) by squeezing with your thumb and finger


pinch

noun

Definition of pinch for English Language Learners

  • : the act of pinching someone or something

  • : the amount of something that can be held between your finger and thumb


pinch

adjective

Definition of pinch for English Language Learners

  • : used as a substitute for another player

  • : made by a pinch hitter


PINCH Defined for Kids

1

pinch

play
verb \ ˈpinch \

Definition of pinch for Students

pinched; pinching
1 :to squeeze between the finger and thumb or between the jaws of an instrument
  • My aunt pinched my cheeks.
2 :to squeeze painfully
  • I pinched my finger in a door.
3 :to break off by squeezing with the thumb and fingers
  • Pinch off a bit of dough.
4 :to cause to look thin or shrunken
  • … I saw Dad run toward me with his face all pinched with anger.
  • —Jack Gantos, Joey Pigza Loses Control
pinch pennies
:to be thrifty or stingy

2

pinch

noun

Definition of pinch for Students

1 :a time of emergency
  • He always helps out in a pinch.
2 :an act of squeezing skin between the thumb and fingers
3 :as much as may be picked up between the finger and the thumb :a very small amount
  • a pinch of salt

Medical Dictionary

pinch

play
transitive verb \ ˈpinch \

medical Definition of pinch

:to squeeze or compress (a part of the body) usually in a painful or discomforting way
  • a pinched nerve caused by entrapment


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