English [ edit ]
Etymology [ edit ]
Middle English , from pinchen Old Northern French (compare *pinchier Old French , pincier pincer ( “ to pinch ” )), a word of uncertain origin, possibly from Vulgar Latin *pinciāre ( “ to puncture, pinch ” ), from a merger of *punctiāre ( “ to puncture, sting ” ), from Latin punctiō ( “ a puncture, prick ” ) and *piccāre ( “ to strike, sting ” ), from Frankish , from *pikkōn Proto-Germanic *pikkōną ( “ to pick, peck, prick ” ). More at , point and pick .
Pronunciation [ edit ]
pinch ( third-person singular simple present , pinches present participle , pinching simple past and past participle )
squeeze a small amount of a person's skin and flesh, making it hurt.
The children were scolded for pinching each other. This shoe pinches my foot. To
squeeze between the thumb and forefinger.
, Harlan Ellison, 2014 Paingod and Other Delusions, : →ISBN He took the plate in his hand, holding it between thumb and forefinger at one corner, letting it hang down. With the other hand he pinched it at the opposite corner, pressing thumb and forefinger together tightly. To
squeeze between two objects.
, Supriyo Bandyopadhyay, 2012 Physics of Nanostructured Solid State Devices, , page →ISBN 446: Since the resistance of the channel is inversely proportional to its width, the most resistive region is the one pinched between the gates where they come closest to each other.
( intransitive ) Of clothing, to be uncomfortably tight in specific spots.
, “ 1972 Thick As A Brick”, Ian Anderson (lyrics), performed by Jethro Tull: With their jock-straps pinching, they slouch to attention While queueing for sarnies at the office canteen.
( slang , transitive ) To steal, usually something inconsequential.
Someone has pinched my handkerchief!
, 1966 Thomas Pynchon, chapter 3, in , New York: The Crying of Lot 49 Bantam Books, published 1976, , →ISBN page : 37 “Hey, blokes,” yelled Dean or perhaps Serge, “let's pinch a boat.” 2012 May 13, Alistair Magowan, “Sunderland 0-1 Man Utd”, in BBC Sport :  Then, as the Sunderland fans' cheers bellowed around the stadium, United's title bid was over when it became apparent City had pinched a last-gasp winner to seal their first title in 44 years.
( slang , transitive ) To arrest or capture.
( horticulture ) To cut shoots or buds of a plant in order to shape the plant, or to improve its yield.
( nautical ) To sail so close-hauled that the sails begin to flutter.
( hunting ) To take hold; to grip, as a dog does.
( obsolete , intransitive ) To be stingy or covetous; to live sparingly.
1788, Benjamin Franklin (attributed), Paper
the wretch whom avarice bids to pinch and spare
( of animals ) To seize; to grip; to bite.
, 1614–1615 Homer, “ (please specify the book number)”, in Geo[rge] Chapman, transl., , London: Homer’s Odysses. [ … ] [ … ] Rich [and [ard ] Field William Jaggard], for Nathaniell Butter, published 1615, ; republished in →OCLC The Odysseys of Homer,, volumes [ … ] (please specify the book number), London: John Russell Smith, [ … ] , 1857, : →OCLC He [the hound] pinch'd and pull'd her down.
( figurative ) To cramp; to straiten; to oppress; to starve.
to be pinched for money
c. (date written), 1610–1611 William Shakespeare, “ The Winters Tale”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies ( [ … ] First Folio), London: [ … ] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed, published [ward ] Blount 1623, , [Act II, scene i]: →OCLC Camillo was his helpe in this, his Pandar: There is a Plot against my Life, my Crowne; All's true that is mistrusted: that false Villaine, Whom I employ'd, was pre-employ'd by him: He ha's discouer'd my Designe, and I Remaine a pinch'd Thing;
c. , 1610? Walter Raleigh, A Discourse of War: want of room [… ] which pincheth the whole nation
, 1888 William Morris, Signs of Change [ … ] , London: Reeves and Turner,  page : 105 [… ] the well-to-do working men did not hope, since they were not pinched and had no means of learning their degraded position [… ] , 1902 William James, , Lecture 2: The Varieties of Religious Experience The Christian also spurns the pinched and mumping sick-room attitude, and the lives of saints are full of a kind of callousness to diseased conditions of body which probably no other human records show. To move, as a railroad car, by prying the wheels with a pinch.
( obsolete ) To complain or find fault.
1809, Alexander Chalmers ed. The Works of the English Poets, from Cahucer to Cowper, Vol. 1, modern rendering of poem imputed to Geoffrey Chaucer, "A Ballad which Chaucer made in Praise or rather Dispraise of Women for their Doubleness":
Therefore who so them accuse
Of any double entencion,
To speake, rowne, other to muse,
pinch at their condicion, All is but false collusion,
I dare rightwell the sothe express,
They have no better protection,
But shrowd them vnder doubleness.
Derived terms [ edit ]
Translations [ edit ]
to squeeze a small amount of skin
قَرَصَ ( qaraṣa )
Hijazi Arabic: قرص ( garaṣ ) Aromanian:
চিকুটা ( sikuta ) Azerbaijani:
шчыпа́ць impf ( ščypácʹ ), ушчыпну́ць pf ( uščypnúcʹ ) Bikol Central:
kudot (bcl) Bulgarian:
щипя (bg) impf ( štipja ) Burmese:
ဆိတ် (my) ( hcit ) Catalan:
pessigar (ca) Cherokee:
ᎠᏇᏄᎩᎠ ( aquenugia ) Chinese:
Mandarin: 捏 (zh) ( niē ), 掐 (zh) ( qiā ) Czech:
štípat (cs) , impf štípnout (cs) pf Danish:
, knibe , nappe , nive klemme Dutch:
knijpen (nl) Esperanto:
nipistää (fi) French:
pincer (fr) Galician:
kneifen (de) , n zwicken (de) Haitian Creole:
צבט (he) ( tsavát ) Hungarian:
csíp , (hu) megcsíp , (hu) belecsíp , (hu) csippent (hu) Icelandic:
pinchar (io) Indonesian:
mencubit (id) Italian:
pizzicare (it) Japanese:
抓る (ja) ( つねる, tsuneru ) Korean:
꼬집다 (ko) ( kkojipda ) Kurdish:
Central Kurdish: قونجورک گرتن ( quncurk girtin ), نوقورچ لێدان ( nuqurç lêdan ) Latin:
штипе impf ( štipe ) Malay:
چوبيت Rumi: cubit Maltese:
, taukini , kini , kikini , pakini , whakakini , whakakikini , nanapi nonoti Neapolitan:
pecigar , (oc) peçugar (oc) Polish:
szczypać (pl) , impf szczypnąć (pl) pf Portuguese:
beliscar (pt) Romanian:
pișca , (ro) ciupi (ro) Russian:
щипа́ть (ru) impf ( ščipátʹ ), ущипну́ть (ru) pf ( uščipnútʹ ), прищемля́ть (ru) impf ( priščemljátʹ ), прищеми́ть (ru) pf ( priščemítʹ ), защемля́ть (ru) impf ( zaščemljátʹ ), защеми́ть (ru) pf ( zaščemítʹ ) Serbo-Croatian:
уштинути pf Roman: uštinuti (sh) pf Slovak:
štípať , impf štipnúť , pf uštipnúť pf Slovene:
ščipati , impf uščipniti (sl) pf Spanish:
pellizcar , (es) repizcar (es) Swedish:
nypa (sv) Tamil:
கிள்ளு ( kiḷḷu ) Telugu:
గిల్లు (te) ( gillu ) Thai:
หยิก (th) ( yìk ) Turkish:
çimdiklemek (tr) Ukrainian:
щипа́ти impf ( ščypáty ), ущипну́ти pf ( uščypnúty ) Vietnamese:
véo , (vi) béo , (vi) nhéo Yiddish: קנײַפּן ( knaypn )
to squeeze between two objects
— see also squeeze
крада (bg) ( krada ), задигам (bg) ( zadigam ) Catalan:
pispar (ca) Chinese:
Mandarin: 偷 (zh) ( tōu ) Czech:
štípnout (cs) Danish:
, hugge , negle nuppe Finnish:
näpistää , (fi) pihistää (fi) French:
chiper (fr) Galician:
, pispar roubar (gl) Hungarian:
csen , (hu) elcsen , (hu) lop , (hu) ellop , (hu) csór , (hu) elcsór , (hu) elcsakliz (hu) Portuguese:
roubar (pt) Russian:
стащи́ть (ru) pf ( staščítʹ ) ( informal ), сты́рить (ru) pf ( stýritʹ ) ( slang ), спи́здить (ru) pf ( spízditʹ ) ( vulgar ) Spanish:
pellizcar , (es) afanar , (es) chorizar (es) Swedish:
snatta (sv) Turkish: çalmak (tr)
horticulture: to cut shoots or buds
nautical: to sail close-hauled
pinch ( plural )
The action of
squeezing a small amount of a person's skin and flesh, making it hurt. A close compression of anything with the fingers.
I gave the leather of the sofa a pinch, gauging the texture. A small amount of
powder or granules, such that the amount could be held between fingertip and thumb tip.
Mix about four cups of white flour with a pinch of salt. An awkward
situation of some kind (especially money or social) which is difficult to escape.
c. , 1587–1588 [Christopher Marlowe], , 2nd edition, part 1, London: Tamburlaine the Great. [ … ] The First Part [ … ] [ … ] [R. Robinson for ] Richard Iones, [ … ] , published 1592, ; reprinted as →OCLC Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire, London: Scolar Press, 1973, , →ISBN Act II, scene i: And wel his merits ſhew him to be made His Fortunes maiſter, and the king of men. That could perſwade at ſuch a ſodaine pinch, With reaſons of his valour and his life, A thouſand ſworne and ouer-matching foes: October, 1955 Rex Stout, “Die Like a Dog”, in , Three Witnesses Bantam, published 1994, , page →ISBN 171: It took nerve and muscle both to carry the body out and down the stairs to the lower hall, but he damn well had to get it out of his place and away from his door, and any of those four could have done it in a pinch, and it sure was a pinch. A metal bar used as a lever for lifting weights, rolling wheels, etc.
An organic herbal smoke additive.
( physics ) A magnetic compression of an electrically- conducting filament. The
narrow part connecting the two bulbs of an hourglass.
, Terry Pratchett, 2001 Thief of Time: It looked like an hourglass, but all those little glittering shapes tumbling through the pinch were seconds. ( slang ) An arrest.
Derived terms [ edit ]
Descendants [ edit ]
Translations [ edit ]
action of squeezing a small amount of skin
шчыпо́к m ( ščypók ) Bikol Central:
kudot (bcl) Bulgarian:
ощипване (bg) n ( oštipvane ) Catalan:
pessic (ca) Chinese:
Mandarin: 掐 (zh) ( qiā ) Danish:
knib , n nap (da) , n niv n Finnish:
nipistys (fi) French:
pincement (fr) m Ido:
pincho (io) Irish:
liomóg , f scealpóg f Italian:
pizzico (it) m Kurdish:
نوقورچ (ckb) ( nuqurç ), قونجورکە ( quncurke ) Northern Kurdish:
qurincîk (ku) Southern Kurdish: قوِڕینجِگ ( qwirrîncig ), قوِنجیڕ ( qwincîrr ) Neapolitan:
نشگون (fa) ( nešgun ), نشکنج (fa) ( neškonj ), وشکون (fa) ( veškun ) Polish:
szczypanie (pl) , n szczypnięcie n Portuguese:
beliscada f Russian:
щипо́к (ru) m ( ščipók ) ( singular ), щипа́ние (ru) n ( ščipánije ) Serbo-Croatian:
Roman: štipanje n Spanish:
pellizco (es) , m repizco (es) Swedish: nyp (sv)