Definitions

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

  • noun A unit of length in the US Customary and British Imperial systems, equal to 1/12 of a foot (2.54 centimeters).
  • noun A fall, as of rain or snow, sufficient to cover a surface to the depth of one inch.
  • noun A unit of atmospheric pressure that is equal to the pressure exerted by a one-inch column of mercury at the earth's surface at a temperature of 0°C.
  • noun A very small degree or amount.
  • intransitive & transitive verb To move or cause to move slowly or by small degrees.
  • idiom (every inch) In every respect; entirely.
  • idiom (inch by inch) Very gradually or slowly.
  • idiom (within an inch of) Almost to the point of.
  • noun A small island.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To drive or force by inches or small degrees: as, to inch one's way along.
  • To deal out by inches; give sparingly.
  • To mark with lines an inch apart.
  • To advance or retire by small degrees; move reluctantly or by inches: as, to inch away from the fire.
  • noun An island.
  • noun Abbreviations of inchoative.
  • noun A lineal measure, the twelfth part of a foot.
  • noun Proverbially, a small quantity or degree; the least part or amount.
  • noun A critical moment.
  • Measuring an inch in any dimension, whether length, breadth, or thickness.

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

  • transitive verb rare To drive by inches, or small degrees.
  • transitive verb rare To deal out by inches; to give sparingly.
  • noun Scot. An island; -- often used in the names of small islands off the coast of Scotland
  • adjective Measuring an inch in any dimension, whether length, breadth, or thickness; -- used in composition
  • adjective boards, etc., sawed one inch thick.
  • intransitive verb To advance or retire by inches or small degrees; to move slowly.
  • noun A measure of length, the twelfth part of a foot, commonly subdivided into halves, quarters, eights, sixteenths, etc., as among mechanics. It was also formerly divided into twelve parts, called lines, and originally into three parts, called barleycorns, its length supposed to have been determined from three grains of barley placed end to end lengthwise. It is also sometimes called a prime ('), composed of twelve seconds (''), as in the duodecimal system of arithmetic.
  • noun A small distance or degree, whether of time or space; hence, a critical moment; also used metaphorically of minor concessins in bargaining.
  • noun by slow degrees, gradually.
  • noun See under Candle.
  • noun usually, the pressure indicated by so many inches of a mercury column, as on a steam gauge.
  • noun See under Water.
  • noun (Hydraulic Mining) a unit for the measurement of water. See Inch of water, under Water.

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

  • noun A unit of length equal to one-twelfth of a foot and equivalent to exactly 2.54 centimetres.
  • noun meteorology The amount of water which would cover a surface to the depth of an inch, used as a measurement of rainfall.
  • noun figuratively A very short distance.
  • verb intransitive, followed by a preposition To move very slowly (in a particular direction).

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

  • verb advance slowly, as if by inches
  • noun a unit of measurement for advertising space
  • noun a unit of length equal to one twelfth of a foot

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English ynce, from Latin ūncia, one twelfth of a unit; see oi-no- in Indo-European roots.]

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

[Middle English, from Scottish Gaelic innis, from Old Irish inis.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English ynce, from Latin uncia ("twelfth part"). Compare ounce.

Examples

  • Roll out the puff pastry to a thickness of ½ inch (1 cm) and not less than 3/8 inch, long and wide enough to cut out two 8 or 8 ½-inch (21 cm) discs.

    Jamie Schler: La Galette des Rois: A Cake Fit For A King

  • Trim all excess fat from steak and cut into-3 inch strips about ½-inch wide.

    In Search Of…

  • Cut the leeks lengthwise in half or in quarters if they are more than 1 inch thick, then slice them crosswise into ½-inch chunks.

    How To Cook Italian

  • Cut the leeks lengthwise in half or in quarters if they are more than % inch thick, then slice them crosswise into ½-inch chunks.

    How To Cook Italian

  • Cut the leeks in half lengthwise or in quarters if they are more than 1 inch thick, then slice them crosswise into ½-inch pieces.

    How To Cook Italian

  • Cut the leeks lengthwise in half or in quarters if they are more than 1 inch thick, then slice them crosswise in ½-inch chunks.

    How To Cook Italian

  • Cut the leeks lengthwise in half or in quarters if they are more than 1 inch thick, then slice them crosswise into ½-inch chunks.

    How To Cook Italian

  • (G) Nut coal; divided into 3-inch steam nut, which passes through an opening 3 inches diameter and over 1¼ inches; 1¼ inch nut, which passes through a 1¼-inch diameter opening and over a ¾-inch diameter opening; ¾-inch nut, which passes through a ¾-inch diameter opening and over a 5/8-inch diameter opening.

    Steam, Its Generation and Use

  • Perpendicular recording, also known as PMR, has allows for much higher data density, expressed in gigabits per square inch (Gb/inch²).

    Tom's hardware UK

  • The drawings indicate the acrylic logo is cast in two parts: a 1-7/8 inch clear layer and a ¼-inch white layer.

    ifoAppleStore

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