pinch1 [pıntʃ] v
[Date: 1200-1300; Origin: From an unrecorded Old North French pinchier]
1.) [T]
to press a part of someone's skin very tightly between your finger and thumb, especially so that it hurts
We have to stop her pinching her baby brother.
He pinched her cheek.
2.) [T] BrE informal to steal something, especially something small or not very valuable
Someone's pinched my coat!
3.) [T]
to press something between your finger and thumb
Pinch the edges of the pastry together to seal it.
4.) [I and T]
if something you are wearing pinches you, it presses painfully on part of your body, because it is too tight
Her new shoes were pinching.
5.) sb has to pinch themselves
used when a situation is so surprising that the person involved needs to make sure that they are not imagining it
Sometimes she had to pinch herself to make sure it was not all a dream.
6.) [T usually passive] BrE old-fashioned to ↑arrest someone
pinch out [pinch sth<=>out] phr v
to remove a small part of a plant with your fingers
Pinch out any side shoots to make the plant grow upwards.
pinch 2
pinch2 n
1.) pinch of salt/pepper etc
a small amount of salt, pepper etc that you can hold between your finger and thumb
Add a pinch of salt to taste.
2.) when you press someone's skin between your finger and thumb
She gave him a playful pinch.
3.) at a pinch
BrE in a pinch AmE
used to say that you could do something if necessary in a difficult or urgent situation
There's space for three people. Four at a pinch.
If you're in a pinch, I'm sure they'd look after Jenny for a while.
4.) take sth with a pinch of salt
used to say that you should not always completely believe what a particular person says
You have to take what he says with a pinch of salt.
5.) feel the pinch
to have financial difficulties, especially because you are not making as much money as you used to make
Local stores and businesses are beginning to feel the pinch.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pinch — may refer to:* Pinch (cooking), a very small amount of an ingredient, typically salt or a spice * Pinch, West VirginiaMathematics and Science* Pinch (plasma physics), the compression of a plasma filament by magnetic forces, or a device which uses …   Wikipedia

  • pinch´er — pinch «pihnch», verb, noun. –v.t. 1. to squeeze between the thumb and forefinger, with the teeth or claws, or with any instrument having two jaws or parts between which something may be grasped: »Father pinched the baby s cheek playfully.… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Pinch — Pinch, n. 1. A close compression, as with the ends of the fingers, or with an instrument; a nip. [1913 Webster] 2. As much as may be taken between the finger and thumb; any very small quantity; as, a pinch of snuff. [1913 Webster] 3. Pian; pang.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pinch — [n1] tight pressing compression, confinement, contraction, cramp, grasp, grasping, hurt, limitation, nip, nipping, pressure, squeeze, torment, tweak, twinge; concept 728 pinch [n2] small amount bit, dash, drop, jot, mite, small quantity, soupçon …   New thesaurus

  • Pinch — Pinch, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Pinched}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Pinching}.] [F. pincer, probably fr. OD. pitsen to pinch; akin to G. pfetzen to cut, pinch; perhaps of Celtic origin. Cf. {Piece}.] 1. To press hard or squeeze between the ends of the fingers …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pinch — pinch; pinch·able; pinch·er; pinch·beck; pinch·ing; pinch·ing·ly; …   English syllables

  • pinch — ► VERB 1) grip (the flesh) tightly between finger and thumb. 2) (of a shoe) hurt (a foot) by being too tight. 3) tighten (the lips or a part of the face). 4) informal, chiefly Brit. steal. 5) informal arrest. 6) live in a frugal way …   English terms dictionary

  • pinch — [pinch] vt. [ME pinchen < NormFr * pincher < OFr pincier < VL * pinctiare < ? punctiare, to prick (see PUNCHEON1), infl. by * piccare: see PICADOR] 1. to squeeze between a finger and the thumb or between two surfaces, edges, etc. 2.… …   English World dictionary

  • Pinch — Pinch, v. i. 1. To act with pressing force; to compress; to squeeze; as, the shoe pinches. [1913 Webster] 2. (Hunt.) To take hold; to grip, as a dog does. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] 3. To spare; to be niggardly; to be covetous. Gower. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pinch — Pinch, WV U.S. Census Designated Place in West Virginia Population (2000): 2811 Housing Units (2000): 1194 Land area (2000): 3.507567 sq. miles (9.084557 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.037141 sq. miles (0.096194 sq. km) Total area (2000): 3.544708… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Pinch, WV — U.S. Census Designated Place in West Virginia Population (2000): 2811 Housing Units (2000): 1194 Land area (2000): 3.507567 sq. miles (9.084557 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.037141 sq. miles (0.096194 sq. km) Total area (2000): 3.544708 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places