From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishinchinch1 /ɪntʃ/ ●●● S2 W3 noun [countable] 1 (written abbreviation in British English or in. American English)TM a unit for measuring length, equal to 2.54 centimetres. There are 12 inches in a foot The curtains were an inch too short. Rainfall here is under 15 inches a year.a one-/two-/three- etc inch something a six-inch nail2 LITTLE/NOT MUCHa very small distance Derek leaned closer, his face only inches from hers. The bus missed us by inches. On several occasions, they came within inches of death.3 → every inch4 → give somebody an inch and they’ll take a yard/mile5 → inch by inch6 → not give/budge an inch7 → beat/thrash etc somebody to within an inch of their life
Examples from the Corpusinch• Cut into rounds 1 inch larger in diameter than casseroles.• Set the pumpkins in a baking dish and add 1 / 4 inch of water to the bottom of the pan.• She could see that her hair had grown by perhaps half an inch.• He gave me an inch in a tumbler.• When Terrence Real was a boy, his father routinely threatened to beat him within an inch of his life.• The next bullet missed Billy's kneecaps by inches.• She looks every inch the high-powered businesswoman.• Hanns Ebensten describes the puppets as' marionettes, on strings, about fourteen inches high.• Fourteen inches from the floor it's supposed to be, yet it's nearly tripping me.• Storms have dumped nine inches on San Antonio since Wednesday.a one-/two-/three- etc inch something• I had my first good bite, a two inch lift then the indicator dropping like the clappers on a slack line.• I provide you with a one inch to the mile map, and a box of matches each one inch long.only inches from• He took a final step and crouched down only inches from touching her.• Isabel froze, staring into those glittering eyes only inches from her own.• She gulped for breath, her eyes only inches from his.• He clenched his fist and held it only inches from her face, the muscles of his arm quivering with tension.• He moved the crib to his side of the bed and slept every night only inches from June Lee.• An old Adler typewriter crashed against the wall only inches from Cally's head.• His lips were only inches from hers when Rosa's tap at the door made him lift his dark head.