At a pinch

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • At a pinch in an emergency; as, he could on a pinch read a little Latin.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • At a pinch in a case of necessity
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Quotations

  • Samuel Butler
    Samuel%20Butler
    “A friend who cannot at a pinch remember a thing or two that never happened is as bad as one who does not know how to forget.”

Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. pincer; prob. Teut., cf. Dut. pitsen, to pinch.

Usage

In literature:

This will take three at a pinch, but it's much more comfortable for two.
"The Phantom Lover" by Ruby M. Ayres
A ring is usually employed, but I have heard of strange substitutes being used at a pinch.
"The Etiquette of Engagement and Marriage" by G. R. M. Devereux
And, now that I look at you, you are pinched and not of a good color.
"Ashton-Kirk, Criminologist" by John T. McIntyre
At the pinch we were in, my mind became suddenly clear as a perspective-glass, and I saw there was no choice of methods.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 11 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
A thing she recollected of this servant-girl helped her at a pinch.
"When Ghost Meets Ghost" by William Frend De Morgan
When Sally heard her name the next day, through Muriel's indiscretion, she looked over at Rose with pinched nostrils and a little dry smile.
"Coquette" by Frank Swinnerton
When he opened them again, he found a pinch bottle of coffee at his elbow, and tasting it, found it sugared and creamed to his preference.
"Where I Wasn't Going" by Walt Richmond
For it soon got about that, at a pinch, there was generally a drop of water to be found in the old polled willow in the avenue.
"The Old Willow Tree and Other Stories" by Carl Ewald
He scooped up a pinch of the fine dust and looked at it.
"The Boy With the U. S. Life-Savers" by Francis Rolt-Wheeler
At a pinch he'll valet my husband.
"Banked Fires" by E. W. (Ethel Winifred) Savi
They will be a little pinched at first, but we must see what we can do for them.
"Olla Podrida" by Frederick Marryat
Still, I think we could manage three at a pinch, if your answers should happen to displease me.
"A Prince of Good Fellows" by Robert Barr
At a pinch, I could teach school.
"My Brave and Gallant Gentleman" by Robert Watson
They gazed in stormy bewilderment now after Jack at a Pinch walking off with his party whom, indeed, he had herded away.
"Pemrose Lorry, Camp Fire Girl" by Isabel Katherine Hornibrook
But all the same, this will do at a pinch.
"Cleek of Scotland Yard" by Thomas W. Hanshew
They take the place of songbirds at a pinch.
"My First Summer in the Sierra" by John Muir
The chief whom Hans had seen at first, came up to the Zulus, and commenced feeling their arms and bodies, as a purchaser pinches cattle.
"Adventures of Hans Sterk" by A.W. Drayson
In a moment Kennedy was at Sherburne's elbow, pinching it in the manner familiar to international crooks.
"The Social Gangster" by Arthur B. Reeve
She stepped aside quickly as he made a loutish thrust at her arm, as though to pinch her.
"The Broken Gate" by Emerson Hough
At first he resisted, he took a nice pinch of snuff, rubbed his eyes, collected his thoughts, but it was no good.
"Yiddish Tales" by Various
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In poetry:

We got drunk together the night we met
At a Japanese Yiddish wake
And I slipped my hand deep down in her purse
And I pinched her current cake.
"Devil May Not Care" by Billy Bennett
Infinitives were Brown’s dislike—
(Brown, as I said, had ten good toes)
And he would pinch and shake and strike
Infinitives, or, with a pike,
Prod them and then laugh at their woes.
"Little Ballads Of Timely Warning; II:" by Ellis Parker Butler
When I went to look at what had long been hidden,
A jewel laid long ago in a secret place,
I trembled, for I thought to see its dark deep fire—
But only a pinch of dust blew up in my face.
"Dust" by Sara Teasdale
And he was lost: a banished face
For ever from the ways of grace,
Unless pinched hard by dreams in fright.
They saw the Bishop's wavering sprite
Within her look, at come and go,
Long after he had caused her woe.
"Jump-To-Glory Jane" by George Meredith
"He fixed your breath in flowers, the Trees
To Chandeliers would turn:
He pinched your toes, he nipped your nose,
He made your cheek a wrinkled Rose:
Perhaps at night you heard him sneeze,
And the Jug was cracked at morn!
"A Winter's Tale For The Little Ones." by Gerald Massey
You pinched a child to a torture price
That you dared not name in words;
So black a jest was the silver bit
That your own speech shook for the shame of it,
And the coward was plain as a cow they hit
When the cattle have strayed at Swords.
"A Song Of Swords" by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

In news:

Investigators say it appears a pinched cable leading to an electric range is where the fire started at the Beechwood School.
Voters may feel the pinch at the pump, but Energy Secretary Steven Chu gave himself an "A" Tuesday for his handling of gasoline prices.
You look at a little child and want to pinch his pudgy cheek because he's so cute, or grab her chubby little leg.
A pinch of patriotism helps the staff at America's on 502 W Tyler in Harlingen "Keep It Clean" in the kitchen.
At a recent makeup application class led by Sonia Kashuk herself (pinch us.
In recent months, several penny-pinched municipalities have taken a stab at eradicating homelessness by making indigence illegal.
(Most testers didn't have any complaints about the interior, but a few were concerned about toe pinching at toe-off.
The pinch of tuition has some students balking at the idea of a traditional four-year undergraduate degree program.
Biden will pinch-hit Monday for President Barack Obama at a rally in Youngstown with former President Bill Clinton.
Jose Duarte hit a two-run pinch- hit home r, and Gil Velazquez and Chris Coghlan drove in a run apiece to back another solid start by Elih Villanueva in a 5-3 New Orleans Zephyrs' victory against Iowa on Monday night at Zephyr Field.
At some point, an adhesion's fibrous band pinches a portion of the small intestine wall and blocks the passage of its digestive contents.
Andrew Haag, center, is congratulated by uncle Greg Haag with a pinch on the cheek, after graduation ceremonies from the master of business administration program at the University of Tennessee, Friday, Dec 14, 2012.
The 13-year-old brooding freakshow in me loved the soundtrack coming out of the speakers at The Pinch , a new watering hole on 14th Street NW in northerly Columbia Heights.
Chipper Jones indicated he very much hopes to at least pinch hit in his final game as a player in Flushing.
Pinch carries work by a number of local potters , including these pieces by Michael McCarthy of Williamsburg.JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra.
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In science:

There exists a number ǫb which only depend on the pinching constant b of M , such that the group Γǫ generated by elements in Γ of length at most ǫb with respect to a fixed point in M is almost nilpotent of rank at most 2.
Quasiconformal Rigidity of Negatively Curved Three Manifolds
The absence of a discernable pinch or twist in the field near IRc2 may indicate that as the molecular cloud collapsed the gas density in the pseudodisk exceeded 1011 cm−3 , at which point the magnetic field decouples from the infalling gas (Nakano & Umebayashi 1986).
Magnetic Field Morphology of Orion-IRc2 from 86 GHz SiO Maser Polarization Images
Figure 4.9: Two kinds of open M2-brane instantons that contribute to a M5-brane with geometry T Nk × Σ: (1) the free fermions, massless at the NUTs of T Nk ; (2) the usual BPS states that become massless when the Riemann surface Σ pinches.
Topological Strings and Quantum Curves
The transmission function of an ideal MAC-E filter can be expressed analytically as a function of the electric retardation potential U0 of the filter and of the magnetic field strengths at the electron source (Bsource ), at the analysing plane (Bana ) and at the pinch magnet (Bmax ).
Prototype of an angular-selective photoelectron calibration source for the KATRIN experiment
Iaux. to zero a large fraction of the photoelectrons are lost due to magnetic reflection, as their angle at the pinch magnet reaches values of θmagnet = 90◦ .
Prototype of an angular-selective photoelectron calibration source for the KATRIN experiment
If S is a compact orientable surface of genus at least three then there is a limit group L and a non-k-pinching noninjective map π1 (S ) → L.
Simple loop conjecture for limit groups
The singularity at 0 is called a pinch point.
Resolution of singularities of pairs preserving semi-simple normal crossings
At the threshold of the instability, a zero-mode deformation of the horizon has been conjectured to lead to new ‘pinched’ black holes that do not have four-dimensional counterparts.
Black Holes in Higher Dimensions
To this picture, we add Lee-Yang zeros and Stokes phenomena, in order to obtain a more robust view of what is at stake: the Lee-Yang zeros accumulate along Stokes lines and pinch the parameter space, creating different regions of “allowed values” for the parameters of the theory (mass, coupling constants, etc).
Phase Transitions and Moduli Space Topology
Both cores show a secondary peak in the auto-correlation function at larger scales, probably tracing symmetry features in the hourglass-like pinched field morphology.
Magnetic Field Properties in High Mass Star Formation from Large to Small Scales - A Statistical Analysis from Polarization Data
As we argue … non-uniqueness does not let the time travel paradoxes into general relat ivity — whatever happens in a causal region, a space-time always can evo lve so that to avoid any paradoxes (at the sacrifice of the time machine at a pinch).
The Universal Arrow of Time III-IV:(Part III) Nonquantum gravitation theory (Part IV) Quantum gravitation theory
The integration contour along the real l0 -axis is pinched between two nearby poles at ±iη . A loop integral involving this product of propagators does not exist since the two poles at infinitesimal distance 2η let the result diverge as 1/η .
Peripheral Nucleon-Nucleon Phase Shifts and Chiral Symmetry
At early times Eq. (2.19) implies u ∼ ˆt but as the Minkowski null cone pinches off at ˆt = a the corresponding affine time on the white hole horizon asymptotes to u → ∞.
Retarded radiation from colliding black holes in the close limit
Let Ω denote the space of all embedded surfaces in M , together with all surfaces that have been “pinched” at finitely many points (at a point where a surface is “pinched”, there is a coordinate chart in which the surface looks locally like the graph of z 2 = x2+y 2), and finite collections of points.
Critical Heegaard Surfaces and Index 2 Minimal Surfaces
Rn+1 , gij (t), P ), −∞ < t ≤ 0, which is a solution of the Ricci flow on Rn+1 with nonnegative curvature operator ( by the pinching estimate in Proposition 2.1(4) ), has bounded curvature with R(P∗ , 0) = 1 at some point P∗ , and is κ-noncollapsed for all scales.
The Existence of Type II Singularities for the Ricci Flow on $S^{n+1}$
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