- inch1 W3S2 [ıntʃ] n[Date: 1000-1100; : Latin; Origin: uncia 'one twelfth']1.) written abbreviation ina unit for measuring length, equal to 2.54 centimetres. There are 12 inches in a foot.▪ The curtains were an inch too short.▪ Rainfall here is under 15 inches a year.a one/two/three etc inch sth▪ a six inch nail2.) a very small distance▪ Derek leaned closer, his face only inches from hers.▪ The bus missed us by inches .▪ On several occasions they came within inches of death.3.) every incha) completely or in every way▪ With her designer clothes and elegant hair, she looks every inch the celebrity.b) the whole of an area or distanceevery inch of▪ Every inch of space in the tiny shop was crammed with goods.▪ Italy deserved to win, though Greece made them fight every inch of the way .4.) give sb an inch and they'll take a yard/mileused to say that if you allow someone a little freedom or power, they will try to take more5.) inch by inchmoving very gradually and slowly▪ Inch by inch, he lowered himself from the roof.6.) not give/budge an inchto refuse to change your decision or opinion, even though people are trying to persuade you to do this▪ Neither side is prepared to give an inch in the negotiations.7.) beat/thrash etc sb to within an inch of their lifeto beat someone very hard and thoroughly▪ Another word out of you and I'll beat you to within an inch of your life.inch 2inch2 v [I,T always + adverb/preposition]to move very slowly in a particular direction, or to make something do this▪ I inched forward along the ground.
Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.