Synonyms of pinch in English:


See US English definition of pinch

See UK English definition of pinch

See Spanish definition of pellizco


1‘he pinched my arm harder’

nip, tweak, squeeze, compress, grasp

2‘my new shoes pinch my big toe’

hurt, cause pain to, pain
squeeze, crush, cramp, chafe, confine
be uncomfortable, cause discomfort, be painful

3‘if I scraped and pinched a bit, I might manage’

economize, be economical, scrimp, scrimp and save, cut corners, reduce wastage, skimp, stint, be sparing, be frugal, cut back, tighten one's belt, draw in one's horns, retrench, cut expenditure, cut one's coat according to one's cloth
be niggardly, be tight-fisted, be close
informal be stingy, be tight, be mingy

4‘he was pinched for drink-driving’

arrest, take into custody, apprehend, take prisoner, detain, seize, capture, catch, lay hold of, take in, haul in
informal collar, nab, pick up, pull in, run in, bust, nail, do, feel someone's collar
British informal nick

5‘you shouldn't have pinched his biscuits’

steal, thieve, rob, take, snatch, pilfer, purloin, loot, rifle, abscond with, carry off
embezzle, misappropriate
informal walk away with, walk off with, run away with, run off with, swipe, nab, rip off, lift, liberate, filch
British informal nick, half-inch, whip, knock off, nobble, bone
North American informal heist, glom
Australian informal snavel
West Indian informal tief
archaic crib, hook


1‘he gave her arm a pinch’

nip, tweak, squeeze

2‘dissolve the yeast in the water with a pinch of sugar’

small quantity, bit, touch, dash, spot, trace, soupçon, speck, taste
informal smidgen, smidge, tad


    if it comes to the pinch

    if things get bad, if it comes to the push, in an emergency, in a crisis, in times of hardship, if one is in difficulty, in time of need, in case of necessity, if necessary
    feel the pinch

    ‘the recession hit us hard and many of our customers have been feeling the pinch’

    suffer hardship, have less money, be short of money, be poor, be impoverished, suffer poverty, suffer adversity
    at a pinch

    ‘there's room for four adults, five at a pinch’

    if necessary, with difficulty, in case of necessity, if need be, in an emergency, just possibly
    North American in a pinch
    British informal at a push
    take something with a pinch of salt

    ‘take these figures with a pinch of salt in an election year’

    disbelieve, not believe, not credit, give no credence to, discredit, discount, doubt, distrust, mistrust, be suspicious of, have no confidence in, have no faith in, be incredulous of, be unconvinced about
    not accept, reject, repudiate, question, challenge, contradict