from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. As much as is taken up between the thumb and two first fingers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A boxer; a pugilist.
  • n. As much as can be taken up between the thumb and the first two fingers; a pinch.


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • "For although there was skill in the game for sure, this kind of success was all luck; and if a man had only a given amount for his whole share, it was a shame to fritter away so much as a pugil.

    "'What is a pugil?' asked Jack, to whom he had made this observation.

    "'It is a physical term, a fair and just return for all your poops and garstrakes, and it means as much as you can pick up between your thumb and first two fingers: dried herbs and the like. Jesuits' bark, for example.'

    "'I have always heard that a Jesuit's bark is worse than his bite,' said Jack."

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Thirteen Gun Salute, 275

    March 5, 2008