Definition of pinchbeck in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpin(t)SHbek/


An alloy of copper and zinc resembling gold, used in watchmaking and costume jewelry.


Appearing valuable, but actually cheap or tawdry.
Example sentences
  • Of course, Muggeridge was unreformed, and when he actually decided to take religion seriously he was contemptuously dismissed as ‘a pinchbeck Savonarola’.
  • The first had been newly choreographed by Ashton and looked for the most part like little more than a pinchbeck parody of a Soviet-style solo.


Mid 18th century: named after Christopher Pinchbeck (died 1732), English watchmaker.

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