- 1Grip (something, typically a person’s flesh) tightly and sharply between finger and thumb: she pinched his cheekMore example sentences
- She sighed and rumbled softly while I showed her how to rub and pinch flesh between the fingers, how to read the muscles.
- He leaned over again and trailed his lips down Edge's neck, his fingers now gently pinching the sensitive flesh.
- His hand clamped around her neck loosely but his thumb was pinching her skin against the wall.
- 1.1(Of a shoe) hurt (a foot) by being too tight: Mrs Grandison’s pointed, Italian-style shoes were already beginning to pinch her feet [no object]: if your shoes pinch, take them offMore example sentences
- There's no point in buying shoes that will pinch your toes and cramp your feet all day long.
- I look over at the closet and scan the rows of shoes there, the shoes that hurt my feet, pinch my toes, make me wobble and have to hold on to Tony for balance and support.
- She descended the stairs carefully because the shoes were pinching her feet.
- 1.2Compress (one’s lips), especially from worry or tension: Aunt Rose pinched her thin lips togetherMore example sentences
- If he's real persistent, even with the noseband on, you can pinch his lip when he tries to put his mouth on you.
- He was pinching his bottom lip with frustration by this point.
- Dezra ordered stubbornly, pinching her lips at him and glowering from beneath the big hat.
- 2 [no object] Live in a frugal way: if I scraped and pinched a bit, I might manageMore example sentences
economize, be economical, scrimp, scrimp and save, cut corners, reduce wastage, skimp, stint, be sparing, be frugal, cut back, tighten one's belt, draw in one's horns, retrench, cut expenditure, cut one's coat according to one's cloth; be niggardly, be tight-fisted, be close• informal be stingy, be tight, be mingy
- It's said that Chicago Bears founder George Halas pinched pennies so tightly that his thumbprint looked like the profile of Abraham Lincoln.
- 3 • informal Steal or take without permission: he pinched a handful of sweetsMore example sentences
steal, thieve, rob, take, snatch, pilfer, purloin, loot, rifle, abscond with, carry off; embezzle, misappropriate• informal walk off/away with, run away/off with, swipe, nab, rip off, lift, ‘liberate’, ‘borrow’, filchAustralian • informal snavelWest Indian • informal tief• archaic crib, hook
- BOB is an angry man - he has lost his girlfriend and now the culprit who stole her has pinched his lead role in the new play.
- He said he has been left ‘devastated and heartbroken’ after opportunist thieves pinched his bike while he went into the store to get a Mars Bar, leaving the bike with a friend.
- Joshua, of Earlswood Walk, Great Lever, watched in horror from a kitchen window as a thief pinched the bike and cycled off.
- 3.1British Arrest (someone): I was pinched for dangerous driving last monthMore example sentences
- He wanted the police to portray themselves as the rabbit, but a day later, he's pinched.
- When the cops pinched him, he gave them a fake name.
- 4Remove (buds or leaves) from a plant to encourage bushy growth: pinch out tips of shoots regularlyMore example sentences
- This combination of mulch and pinching leaves will help keep soil-borne disease pathogens from splashing up onto plant leaves during rain storms or watering.
- This is also the time to remove your plants and trim or pinch the old growth and all yellowing leaves off.
- Remove all rootstock suckers or low-growing branches, and pinch the main stems to keep the height manageable.
nounBack to top
- 1An act of pinching someone: he gave her a gentle pinchMore example sentences
- Try strokes, caresses, nips, pinches and gentle scratches.
- Number of gropes, slaps, pinches and otherwise unwanted sexual attention endured: 0.
- What looks like an earlobe pinch is a pressure point submission; I had heard of its use in law enforcement but hadn't seen it until now.
- 1.1An amount of an ingredient that can be held between fingers and thumb: add a pinch of saltMore example sentences
- The only added ingredients are a pinch of salt and, on the French fries, canola or soybean oil and citric acid.
- For the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese until they are fluffy and then add the remaining ingredients with a pinch of salt until combined.
- While the pinch of something can as well, in general, a cook understands that a pinch is a modest amount, less than a teaspoon.
- 2 Baseball A critical point in the game.More example sentences
- Carbo hit his second pinch homer of the series, and the game was tied 6-6.
- Carbo offered him his best chance of coming through in the pinch, just as he had done with a home run in Game Three.
- Boston's Bernie Carbo had fled the battle with a two-out, three-run eighth-inning pinch homer.
at (or North American in) a pinch
- If absolutely necessary: the rear will accommodate two adults or three smaller people at a pinchMore example sentences
- If there was a unique and complex weapon that became necessary to be wield in a pinch, she was required be more skilled in it than anyone before.
- So, now that I work for Don Graham, I regard him as family, welcome to borrow my car or $50 whenever he's in a pinch.
- Saudi Arabia produces 9 million barrels a day, and can do 11 in a pinch.
feel the pinch
- Experience hardship, especially financial: staff were beginning to feel the pinch as the dispute entered its third weekMore example sentences
suffer hardship, have less money, be short of money, be poor, be impoverished, suffer poverty, suffer adversity
- The position of the Coptic communities is becoming more insecure and they are the first to feel the pinch of hardship.
- Though obviously a different prospect to a large hotel and dependent of passing trade rather than the tour buses or large bookings, many guest houses around Kerry are also beginning to feel the pinch.
- Both men are septuagenarians who have felt the pinch of ageism in a business that often dismisses extensive experience and talent as irrelevant.
have to pinch oneself
- Used to convey that a good situation is so surprising that the person involved has to make sure they are not imagining it: sometimes I have to pinch myself to realize it isn’t all a dreamMore example sentences
- The more Collins talks, the more you have to pinch yourself.
- Roger East occasionally has to pinch himself to make sure he isn't dreaming.
- I had to pinch myself in case I was dreaming.
Middle English (as a verb): from an Old Northern French variant of Old French pincier 'to pinch'.