pinch Definition

  • 1to press something, especially someone's skin, strongly between two hard things such as a finger and a thumb, usually causing pain
  • 2a small amount of something, typically salt, spices, or herbs, that is held between one's thumb and forefinger and sprinkled onto food
  • 3a difficult situation caused by a lack of money

Using pinch: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "pinch" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    She pinched my arm and I yelped in pain.

  • Example

    Can you pinch some salt into the soup?

  • Example

    I'm in a pinch and can't afford to buy a new car right now.

pinch Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for pinch

Antonyms for pinch

Idioms Using pinch

  • in an emergency or difficult situation


    I can use this tool as a hammer in a pinch.

  • pinch pennies

    to be very frugal or thrifty with money


    We're pinching pennies until we can save enough for a down payment on a house.

  • a children's game played on the first day of the month, where participants say 'pinch and a punch for the first of the month' and then pinch and punch each other


    As soon as the clock struck midnight, they all shouted 'pinch and a punch for the first of the month!'

Phrases with pinch

  • a substitute batter in baseball who bats for a teammate


    The coach sent in a pinch hitter to replace the injured player.

  • to do something to make sure that one is not dreaming or imagining something


    I had to pinch myself to make sure that I wasn't dreaming when I won the lottery.

  • a small amount of skepticism or disbelief


    Take his story with a pinch of salt; he's known to exaggerate.


Summary: pinch in Brief

The term 'pinch' [pɪn(t)ʃ] refers to pressing something between two hard things, often causing pain. It can also mean a small amount of something, like salt, or a difficult financial situation. Examples include 'She pinched my arm and I yelped in pain,' and 'Can you pinch some salt into the soup?' Phrases include 'in a pinch,' meaning in an emergency, and 'pinch pennies,' meaning to be frugal with money.

How do native speakers use this expression?