Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A girth for a pack or saddle.
  • noun An encircling cord, band, or belt.
  • noun Something easy to accomplish. synonym: breeze.
  • noun A sure thing; a certainty.
  • intransitive verb To put a saddle girth on (a horse).
  • intransitive verb To secure (a saddle) by means of a cinch.
  • intransitive verb To encircle or wrap tightly.
  • intransitive verb To tighten (an encircling cord or belt, for example).
  • intransitive verb Informal To make certain; secure or guarantee.
  • intransitive verb To tighten an encircling band or saddle girth. Often used with up.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun West. U. S. A strong saddle girth, as of canvas.
  • noun colloq. A tight grip.
  • intransitive verb Western U. S. To perform the action of cinching; to tighten the cinch; -- often with up.
  • transitive verb In the game of cinch, to protect (a trick) by playing a higher trump than the five.
  • noun 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.
  • transitive verb Western U. S. To put a cinch upon; to girth tightly.
  • transitive verb Slang, U. S. To get a sure hold upon; to get into a tight place, as for forcing submission.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Spanish cincha, feminine of cincho, belt, from Latin cīnctus, from past participle of cingere, to gird; see kenk- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Spanish cincha ("a belt or girth"), from Latin cingula.

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

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

    Chapter IX

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

Comments

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  • 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

  • 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

  • Citation on grouchbag.

    June 30, 2012