inch

/ˈɪntʃ/

  • Noun
  • a unit of measurement equal to ¹/₃₆ yard or ¹/₁₂ of a foot (2.54 centimeters)
    1. It measures six inches from top to bottom.
    2. an insect that is an inch long = an inch-long insect
    3. I'm five feet, two inches tall. = I'm five foot two (inches).
  • a small amount, distance, or degree
    1. The bullet missed my head by inches. [=the bullet came very close to hitting my head]
    2. I begged him to reconsider, but he wouldn't give/budge an inch. [=he wouldn't make even a slight change in his opinion or attitude]
    3. I tried to improve the system, but she opposed me every inch of the way. [=she opposed everything that I tried to do]
    4. We searched every inch of the house. [=we searched the house completely]
    5. The school is considering allowing older students to leave the campus for lunch on Fridays, but I'm concerned that if we give them an inch, they'll take a mile. [=students will leave campus more often]
  • to the highest degree
    1. He's every inch a winner. [=he's a winner in every way]
  • by moving very slowly
    1. We made our way inch by inch through the darkened corridor.
  • almost to the point of (something)
    1. She came within an inch of death/dying. [=she came very close to dying]
    2. They beat him (to) within an inch of his life. [=they beat him so badly that he nearly died]
  • Verb
  • to move very slowly or by a small amount in a specified direction or manner
    1. We inched along in heavy traffic.
    2. As she neared the finish line, she inched ahead of the other racers.
    3. Gas prices are inching up again.
    4. I inched the car into the garage.

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