2014, Harlan Ellison, 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.
(figuratively) To cramp; to straiten; to oppress; to starve.
to be pinched for money
Sir Walter Raleigh
want of room […]pinching a whole nation
1902, William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience, Lecture 2:
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.
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":
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.