See also: Inch



  • IPA(key): /ɪntʃ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪntʃ

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English ynche, enche, from Old English ynce, borrowed from Latin uncia (twelfth part). Doublet of ounce, uncia, oka, and ouguiya.


inch (plural inches)

  1. A unit of length equal to one twelfth of a foot, or exactly 2.54 centimetres.
  2. (meteorology) The amount of water which would cover a surface to the depth of an inch, used as a measurement of rainfall.
  3. The amount of an alcoholic beverage which would fill a glass or bottle to the depth of an inch.
  4. (figuratively) A very short distance.
    "Don't move an inch!"
Derived termsEdit
  • Assamese: ইঞ্চি (io͂si)
  • Hindi: इंच (iñc)
  • Indonesian: inci
  • Japanese: インチ (inchi)
  • Korean: 인치 (inchi)
  • Serbo-Croatian: и̏нч
  • Swahili: inchi
  • Turkish: inç
  • Vietnamese: inh
  • Yoruba: ínǹsì


inch (third-person singular simple present inches, present participle inching, simple past and past participle inched)

  1. (intransitive, followed by a preposition) To advance very slowly, or by a small amount (in a particular direction).
    Fearful of falling, he inched along the window ledge.
    • 1957, J. D. Salinger, "Zooey", in, 1961, Franny and Zooey:
      The window blind had been lowered — Zooey had done all his bathtub reading by the light from the three-bulb overhead fixture—but a fraction of morning light inched under the blind and onto the title page of the manuscript.
    • 2012 May 9, John Percy, “Birmingham City 2 Blackpool 2 (2-3 on agg): match report”, in the Telegraph[1]:
      Already guarding a 1-0 lead from the first leg, Blackpool inched further ahead when Stephen Dobbie scored from an acute angle on the stroke of half-time. The game appeared to be completely beyond Birmingham’s reach three minutes into the second period when Matt Phillips reacted quickly to bundle the ball past Colin Doyle and off a post.
  2. To drive by inches, or small degrees.
    • 1692, John Dryden, Cleomenes, the Spartan Hero, a Tragedy
      He gets too far into the soldier's grace / And inches out my master.
  3. To deal out by inches; to give sparingly.
Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Scottish Gaelic innis


inch (plural inches)

  1. (Scotland) A small island

Usage notesEdit


Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of ynche