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



    BrE BrE//pɪntʃ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//pɪntʃ//
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    with thumb and finger
  1. 1an act of squeezing a part of somebody’s skin tightly between your thumb and finger, especially in order to hurt them She gave him a pinch on the arm to wake him up.
  2. small amount
  3. 2the amount of something that you can hold between your finger and thumb a pinch of salt
  4. Word OriginMiddle English (as a verb): from an Old Northern French variant of Old French pincier ‘to pinch’.Extra examples He gave her a playful pinch on the cheek. a pinch of snuff Add a pinch of salt to the mixture and stir well. a pinch of cayenne pepper/​cinnamon/​curry powder/​ground ginger/​nutmeg/​paprika/​snuffIdioms
    at a pinch (British English) (North American English in a pinch)
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    used to say that something could be done or used in a particular situation if it is really necessary We can get six people round this table at a pinch. The recipe is for beef, but at a pinch you could use chicken.
    (informal) to not have enough money Lots of people who have lost their jobs are starting to feel the pinch.
    take something with a pinch of salt
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    to be careful about believing that something is completely true If I were you, I’d take everything he says with a pinch of salt.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: pinch