To press hard or squeeze between the ends of the fingers, between teeth or claws, or between the jaws of an instrument; to squeeze or compress, as between any two hard bodies.
- To squeeze between the thumb and a finger, the jaws of a tool, or other edges.
- To squeeze or bind (a part of the body) in a way that causes discomfort or pain: These shoes pinch my toes.
- To nip, wither, or shrivel: buds that were pinched by the frost; a face that was pinched with grief.
- To straiten: "A year and a half of the blockade has pinched Germany” ( William L. Shirer).
- Slang To take (money or property) unlawfully. See Synonyms at steal.
- Slang To take into custody; arrest.
- To move (something) with a pinch bar.
- Nautical To sail (a boat) so close into the wind that its sails shiver and its speed is reduced.
- To press, squeeze, or bind painfully: This collar pinches.
- To be miserly.
- Nautical To drag an oar at the end of a stroke.
- The act or an instance of pinching.
- An amount that can be held between thumb and forefinger: a pinch of salt.
- A painful, difficult, or straitened circumstance: felt the pinch of the recession.
- An emergency situation: This coat will do in a pinch.
- A narrowing of a mineral deposit, as in a mine.
- Informal A theft.
- Slang An arrest by a law enforcement officer.
- Baseball Relating to pinch-hitting or pinch runners: a pinch single; a pinch steal of third base.
- pinch pennies Informal To be thrifty or miserly.