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Alternative forms[edit]


inch +‎ -meal



inchmeal (not comparable)

  1. gradually, little by little (an inch at a time)
    • 1610, The Tempest, by Shakespeare, act 2 scene 2
      All the infections that the sun sucks up / From bogs, fens, flats, on Prosper fall, and make him / By inch-meal a disease!
    • 1725, Daniel Defoe, Everybody's Business is Nobody's Business[1]:
      Those who are not thus slippery in the tail, are light of finger; and of these the most pernicious are those who beggar you inchmeal.
    • 1822, Charles and Mary Lamb, The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb (Vol. 6)[2]:
      I am a sanguinary murderer of time, and would kill him inchmeal just now.
    • 1901, Maurice Hewlett, The Life and Death of Richard Yea-and-Nay[3]:
      He could be as patient as Death, that inchmeal stalker of his prey; he could be as ruthless as the sea, and incredibly generous upon occasion.