Date: 1200-1300
Origin: From an unrecorded Old North French pinchier


1 verb
1 [transitive] to press a part of someone's skin very tightly between your finger and thumb, especially so that it hurts:
We have to stop her pinching her baby brother.
He pinched her cheek.
2 [transitive] British English informal to steal something, especially something small or not very valuable:
Someone's pinched my coat!
3 [transitive] to press something between your finger and thumb:
Pinch the edges of the pastry together to seal it.
4 [intransitive and transitive] if something you are wearing pinches you, it presses painfully on part of your body, because it is too tight:
Her new shoes were pinching.

somebody has to pinch themselves

used when a situation is so surprising that the person involved needs to make sure that they are not imagining it:
Sometimes she had to pinch herself to make sure it was not all a dream.
6 [transitive usually passive] British English old-fashioned to arrest someone

pinch something ↔ out

phrasal verb
to remove a small part of a plant with your fingers:
Pinch out any side shoots to make the plant grow upwards.

Dictionary results for "pinch"
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