American English

Definition of pinch verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they pinch
    he / she / it pinches
    past simple pinched
    -ing form pinching
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    with thumb and finger
  1. 1[transitive] pinch somebody/something/yourself to take a piece of someone's skin between your thumb and first finger and squeeze hard, especially to hurt the person My sister's always pinching me and it really hurts. He pinched the baby's cheek playfully. (figurative) She had to pinch herself to make sure she was not dreaming.
  2. 2[transitive] pinch something (+ adv./prep.) to hold something tightly between the thumb and finger or between two things that are pressed together Pinch the nostrils together between your thumb and finger to stop the bleeding. a pinched nerve in the neck
  3. of a shoe
  4. 3[intransitive, transitive] pinch (somebody/something) if something such as a shoe pinches part of your body, it hurts you because it is too tight These new shoes pinch.
  5. cost too much
  6. 4[transitive] pinch somebody/something to cost a person or an organization a lot of money or more than they can spend Higher interest rates are already pinching the housing industry.
  7. Idioms
    pinch pennies (informal)
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    to try to spend as little money as possible
    Phrasal Verbspinch somethingoff/out
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: pinch