Definition of pinch verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//pɪntʃ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//pɪntʃ//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they pinch
    BrE BrE//pɪntʃ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//pɪntʃ//
    he / she / it pinches
    BrE BrE//ˈpɪntʃɪz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɪntʃɪz//
    past simple pinched
    BrE BrE//pɪntʃt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//pɪntʃt//
    past participle pinched
    BrE BrE//pɪntʃt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//pɪntʃt//
    -ing form pinching
    BrE BrE//ˈpɪntʃɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɪntʃɪŋ//
    Committing crime
    jump to other results
    with thumb and finger
  1. 1[transitive] pinch somebody/something/yourself to take a piece of somebody’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. 3[intransitive, transitive] to place the thumb and a finger of one hand on the screen of an electronic device such as a mobile/cell phone or small computer and move them together or apart, to make the image on the screen appear smaller or larger You can pinch and zoom in. see also flick, spread, tap
  4. of a shoe
  5. 4[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.
  6. steal
  7. 5[transitive] pinch something (from somebody/something) (British English, informal) to steal something, especially something small and not very valuable synonym nick Kids have been pinching our apples again. Who's pinched my pen? See related entries: Committing crime
  8. cost too much
  9. 6[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.
  10. arrest
  11. 7[transitive] pinch somebody (old-fashioned, British English, informal) to arrest somebody I was pinched for dangerous driving.
  12. Word OriginMiddle English (as a verb): from an Old Northern French variant of Old French pincier ‘to pinch’.Extra examples Apply pressure to the nose by pinching the nostrils firmly together. He pinched me sharply on the arm. He pinched the leaf between his thumb and forefinger. My shoes were pinching badly.Idioms (informal) to try to spend as little money as possible Phrasal Verbspinch in/outpinch off something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: pinch