Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A girth for a pack or saddle.
  • n. A firm grip.
  • n. Something easy to accomplish. See Synonyms at breeze1.
  • n. A sure thing; a certainty.
  • transitive v. To put a saddle girth on.
  • transitive v. To get a tight grip on.
  • transitive v. Informal To make certain; secure or guarantee: cinch a victory.
  • intransitive v. To tighten a saddle girth. Often used with up.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A simple saddle girth used in Mexico.
  • n. Something that is very easy to do.
  • n. A firm hold.
  • v. To bring to certain conclusion.
  • v. To tighten down.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A strong saddle girth, as of canvas.
  • n. A tight grip.
  • n. A variety of auction pitch in which a draw to improve the hand is added, and the five of trumps (called right pedro) and the five of the same color (called left pedro, and ranking between the five and the four of trumps) each count five on the score. Fifty-one points make a game. Called also double pedro and high five.
  • intransitive v. To perform the action of cinching; to tighten the cinch; -- often with up.
  • transitive v. To put a cinch upon; to girth tightly.
  • transitive v. To get a sure hold upon; to get into a tight place, as for forcing submission.
  • transitive v. In the game of cinch, to protect (a trick) by playing a higher trump than the five.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To gird with a cinch.
  • Hence To bind or subdue by force.
  • To tighten the cinch: used with up.
  • n. A saddle-girth made of leather, canvas, or woven horsehair.
  • n. A firm hold or grip on anything.
  • n. A fine position or situation; an easy job; a ‘snap.’
  • n. A variety of all-fours, sometimes called double pedro and high-five.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. stable gear consisting of a band around a horse's belly that holds the saddle in place
  • v. tie a cinch around
  • v. make sure of
  • n. any undertaking that is easy to do
  • v. get a grip on; get mastery of
  • n. a form of all fours in which the players bid for the privilege of naming trumps

Etymologies

Spanish cincha, feminine of cincho, belt, from Latin cīnctus, from past participle of cingere, to gird; see kenk- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Spanish cincha ("a belt or girth"), from Latin cingula. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • One of the most subtle allusions to horses is the word cinch, meaning a ` sure thing. '

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XIII No 1

  • While I had to purchase it, it was VERY easy to setup, and recording was a cinch that is actually the first time that I have ever typed the word cinch ... weird.

    Doing Research: A Tool Inventory « open thinking

  • He had what gamblers call a cinch, or he would have had, if the man he watched for had not been standing directly behind him, with rifle-sights in a line with the scar on the back of his thick neck.

    The Ranch at the Wolverine

  • If I'm riding hunches one and two, I just got to ride this cinch, which is number three.

    Chapter IX

  • It occurs to me that a horse with this curious mania for binding cinches or cinching binders -- or, in other words, a cinch binder -- will be as willing to indulge in his favourite sport with the saddle unoccupied as otherwise.

    Ma Pettengill

  • I could probably do it in a "cinch" at some other point in my life and if circumstances were different.

    hemopoetic Diary Entry

  • But when Enriquez began to tighten the "cinch" or girth, a more singular thing occurred.

    Short Stories of Various Types

  • The eminent lawyer, his calculating eye still on Garrison, then proceeded with much forensic ability and virile imagination to lay the full beauties of the "cinch" before him.

    Garrison's Finish : a romance of the race course

  • At the end of the three goals the Kingstonians began to whisper to themselves that they had what they were pleased to call a "cinch"; they alluded to the Palatines as "easy fruit," and began to make a number of fresh and grand-stand plays.

    The Dozen from Lakerim

  • If he had been one of those "college guys" who never could get enough of books, what a "cinch" the place would have been for him -- good as the Astor Library!

    T. Tembarom

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Comments

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  • Citation on grouchbag.

    June 30, 2012


  • Saddle me up the Zebra Dun—
    Whoa, Zebe, whoa!
    Double-cinch the son of a gun—
    Whoa, till I bridle you, whoa!
    Foot in the stirrup, straddle him quick—
    Pitch and squeal and buck and kick—
    Take your gait or the spurs will prick,
    Lope along, you Zebra Dun.

    - Edwin Ford Piper, 'Whoa, Zebe, Whoa'.

    September 22, 2009

  • Her belt was cinched so tight that, looking at it, you could hardly draw your own breath, the stiff waves of her hair were netted to her skull, her skirt snapped sharply at her legs.
    —Dorothy Parker, 'The Bolt behind the Blue'

    By the way, I have great admiration for Parker's frequent, skilful use of asyndeton.

    November 12, 2008