Thesaurus

pinch

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of pinch

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 an instance of theft
  • the pinch of my favorite sweater really bugged me!

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2 the act of taking into one's control by authority of law
  • an innocent person caught up in a city-wide pinch of drug dealers

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3 a falling short of an essential or desirable amount or number
  • this labor pinch means that there'll be long lines at the checkouts

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pinch

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of pinch (Entry 2 of 3)

1 to squeeze tightly between two surfaces, edges, or points
  • the zipper on those jeans always pinches me

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2 to take (something) without right and with an intent to keep
  • pinched the earrings while the boutique owner was distracted by another customer

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3 to take or keep under one's control by authority of law
  • pinched the purse snatcher just two blocks from where he had robbed the old lady

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4 to avoid unnecessary waste or expense
  • if we pinch hard for the upcoming year, we can probably afford the vacation at that fancy resort

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pinch

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of pinch (Entry 3 of 3)

as in alternative, alternate

Synonyms & Near Synonyms for pinch

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About pinch

How does the noun pinch differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of pinch are contingency, crisis, emergency, exigency, juncture, straits, and strait. While all these words mean "a critical or crucial time or state of affairs," pinch implies urgency or pressure for action to a less intense degree than exigency or emergency.

come through in a pinch

When can contingency be used instead of pinch?

In some situations, the words contingency and pinch are roughly equivalent. However, contingency implies an emergency or exigency that is regarded as possible but uncertain of occurrence.

contingency plans

Where would crisis be a reasonable alternative to pinch?

The meanings of crisis and pinch largely overlap; however, crisis applies to a juncture whose outcome will make a decisive difference.

a crisis of confidence

When is emergency a more appropriate choice than pinch?

While the synonyms emergency and pinch are close in meaning, emergency applies to a sudden unforeseen situation requiring prompt action to avoid disaster.

the presence of mind needed to deal with emergencies

When would exigency be a good substitute for pinch?

The words exigency and pinch can be used in similar contexts, but exigency stresses the pressure of restrictions or urgency of demands created by a special situation.

provide for exigencies

When is it sensible to use juncture instead of pinch?

The words juncture and pinch are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, juncture stresses the significant concurrence or convergence of events.

an important juncture in our country's history

How are the words strait and straits related as synonyms of pinch?

Strait, now commonly straits, applies to a troublesome situation from which escape is extremely difficult.

in dire straits

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Time Traveler for pinch

Time Traveler

The first known use of pinch was in the 14th century

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Statistics for pinch

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pinch.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/pinch. Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on pinch

Dictionary: Definition of pinch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pinch

Medical Dictionary: Definition of pinch

Spanish Central: Translation of pinch

Nglish: Translation of pinch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pinch for Arabic Speakers

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