Meaning of pinch
Pronunciation: (pinch), [key]
- to squeeze or compress between the finger and thumb, the teeth, the jaws of an instrument, or the like.
- to constrict or squeeze painfully, as a tight shoe does.
- to cramp within narrow bounds or quarters: The crowd pinched him into a corner.
- to render (the face, body, etc.) unnaturally constricted or drawn, as pain or distress does: Years of hardship had pinched her countenance beyond recognition.
- to remove or shorten (buds or shoots) in order to produce a certain shape of the plant, improve the quality of the bloom or fruit, or increase the development of buds (often fol. by out, off, or back).
- to affect with sharp discomfort or distress, as cold, hunger, or need does.
- to straiten in means or circumstances: The depression pinched them.
- to stint (a person, family, etc.) in allowance of money, food, or the like: They were severely pinched by the drought.
- to hamper or inconvenience by the lack of something specified: The builders were pinched by the shortage of good lumber.
- to stint the supply or amount of (a thing).
- to put a pinch or small quantity of (a powder, spice, etc.) into something.
- to steal.
- to arrest.
- to roll or slide (a heavy object) with leverage from a pinch bar.
- to sail (a ship) so close to the wind that the sails shake slightly and the speed is reduced.
- to press (a horse) to the point of exhaustion.
- to exert a sharp or painful constricting force: This shoe pinches.
- to cause sharp discomfort or distress: Their stomachs were pinched with hunger.
- to economize unduly; stint oneself: They pinched and scraped for years to save money for a car.
- (of a vein of ore or the like)
- to diminish.
- to diminish to nothing (sometimes fol. by out).
- to trim a sail too flat when sailing to windward.
- to stint on or be frugal or economical with expenditures; economize: I'll have to pinch pennies if I'm going to get through school.
- the act of pinching; nip; squeeze.
- as much of anything as can be taken up between the finger and thumb: a pinch of salt.
- a very small quantity of anything: a pinch of pungent wit.
- sharp or painful stress, as of hunger, need, or any trying circumstances: the pinch of conscience; to feel the pinch of poverty.
- a situation or time of special stress, esp. an emergency: A friend is someone who will stand by you in a pinch.
- a raid or an arrest.
- a theft.
- See(def. 22).
- pinch (Thesaurus)