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pinch

[pinch] /pɪntʃ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to squeeze or compress between the finger and thumb, the teeth, the jaws of an instrument, or the like.
2.
to constrict or squeeze painfully, as a tight shoe does.
3.
to cramp within narrow bounds or quarters:
The crowd pinched him into a corner.
4.
to render (the face, body, etc.) unnaturally constricted or drawn, as pain or distress does:
Years of hardship had pinched her countenance beyond recognition.
5.
to affect with sharp discomfort or distress, as cold, hunger, or need does.
6.
to straiten in means or circumstances:
The depression pinched them.
7.
to stint (a person, family, etc.) in allowance of money, food, or the like:
They were severely pinched by the drought.
8.
to hamper or inconvenience by the lack of something specified:
The builders were pinched by the shortage of good lumber.
9.
to stint the supply or amount of (a thing).
10.
to put a pinch or small quantity of (a powder, spice, etc.) into something.
11.
to roll or slide (a heavy object) with leverage from a pinch bar.
12.
Slang.
  1. to steal.
  2. to arrest.
13.
Digital Technology. to move two or more fingers toward or away from each other on (a touchscreen) in order to execute a command (often followed by in or out):
Zoom in by pinching the screen.
14.
Horticulture. to remove or shorten (buds or shoots) in order to produce a certain shape of the plant, improve the quality of the bloom or fruit, or increase the development of buds (often followed by out, off, or back).
15.
Nautical. to sail (a ship) so close to the wind that the sails shake slightly and the speed is reduced.
16.
Horse Racing, British. to press (a horse) to the point of exhaustion.
verb (used without object)
17.
to exert a sharp or painful constricting force:
This shoe pinches.
18.
to cause sharp discomfort or distress:
Their stomachs were pinched with hunger.
19.
to economize unduly; stint oneself:
They pinched and scraped for years to save money for a car.
20.
Digital Technology. to move the fingers toward or away from each other on a touchscreen (often followed by in or out):
Pinching in will zoom in, and pinching out will zoom out.
21.
Mining.
  1. to diminish.
  2. to diminish to nothing (sometimes followed by out).
22.
Nautical. to trim a sail too flat when sailing to windward.
noun
23.
the act of pinching; nip; squeeze.
24.
as much of anything as can be taken up between the finger and thumb:
a pinch of salt.
25.
a very small quantity of anything:
a pinch of pungent wit.
26.
sharp or painful stress, as of hunger, need, or any trying circumstances:
the pinch of conscience; to feel the pinch of poverty.
27.
a situation or time of special stress, especially an emergency:
A friend is someone who will stand by you in a pinch.
28.
29.
Slang. a raid or an arrest.
30.
Slang. a theft.
31.
Digital Technology. an act or instance of pinching a touchscreen.
Idioms
32.
pinch pennies, to stint on or be frugal or economical with expenditures; economize:
I'll have to pinch pennies if I'm going to get through school.
33.
with a pinch of salt. salt1 (def 33).
Also, with a grain of salt.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English pinchen < Anglo-French *pinchier (equivalent to Old French pincier, Spanish pinchar) < Vulgar Latin *pīnctiāre, variant of *pūnctiāre to prick (cf. pique1)
Related forms
pinchable, adjective
unpinched, adjective

salt1

[sawlt] /sɔlt/
noun
1.
a crystalline compound, sodium chloride, NaCl, occurring as a mineral, a constituent of seawater, etc., and used for seasoning food, as a preservative, etc.
2.
table salt mixed with a particular herb or seasoning for which it is named:
garlic salt; celery salt.
3.
Chemistry. any of a class of compounds formed by the replacement of one or more hydrogen atoms of an acid with elements or groups, which are composed of anions and cations, and which usually ionize in solution; a product formed by the neutralization of an acid by a base.
4.
salts, any of various salts used as purgatives, as Epsom salts.
5.
an element that gives liveliness, piquancy, or pungency:
Anecdotes are the salt of his narrative.
6.
wit; pungency.
7.
a small, usually open dish, as of silver or glass, used on the table for holding salt.
8.
Informal. a sailor, especially an old or experienced one.
verb (used with object)
9.
to season with salt.
10.
to cure, preserve, or treat with salt.
11.
to furnish with salt:
to salt cattle.
12.
to treat with common salt or with any chemical salt.
13.
to spread salt, especially rock salt, on so as to melt snow or ice:
The highway department salted the roads after the storm.
14.
to introduce rich ore or other valuable matter fraudulently into (a mine, the ground, a mineral sample, etc.) to create a false impression of value.
15.
to add interest or excitement to:
a novel salted with witty dialogue.
adjective
16.
containing salt; having the taste of salt:
salt water.
17.
cured or preserved with salt:
salt cod.
18.
inundated by or growing in salt water:
salt marsh.
19.
producing the one of the four basic taste sensations that is not sweet, sour, or bitter.
20.
pungent or sharp:
salt speech.
Verb phrases
21.
salt away,
  1. Also, salt down. to preserve by adding quantities of salt to, as meat.
  2. Informal. to keep in reserve; store away; save:
    to salt away most of one's earnings.
22.
salt out, to separate (a dissolved substance) from a solution by the addition of a salt, especially common salt.
Idioms
23.
with a grain of salt, with reserve or allowance; with an attitude of skepticism:
Diplomats took the reports of an impending crisis with a grain of salt.
24.
worth one's salt, deserving of one's wages or salary:
We couldn't find an assistant worth her salt.
Origin
before 900; (noun and adj.) Middle English; Old English sealt; cognate with German Salz, Old Norse, Gothic salt; akin to Latin sāl, Greek háls (see halo-); (v.) Middle English salten, Old English s(e)altan; compare Old High German salzan, Old Norse salta, Dutch zouten; see salary
Related forms
saltlike, adjective
Synonyms
5. flavor, savor. 8. See sailor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for with grain salt

pinch

/pɪntʃ/
verb
1.
to press (something, esp flesh) tightly between two surfaces, esp between a finger and the thumb See nip1
2.
to confine, squeeze, or painfully press (toes, fingers, etc) because of lack of space: these shoes pinch
3.
(transitive) to cause stinging pain to: the cold pinched his face
4.
(transitive) to make thin or drawn-looking, as from grief, lack of food, etc
5.
(usually foll by on) to provide (oneself or another person) with meagre allowances, amounts, etc
6.
pinch pennies, to live frugally because of meanness or to economize
7.
(transitive) (nautical) to sail (a sailing vessel) so close to the wind that her sails begin to luff and she loses way
8.
(intransitive) sometimes foll by out. (of a vein of ore) to narrow or peter out
9.
usually foll by off, out, or back. to remove the tips of (buds, shoots, etc) to correct or encourage growth
10.
(transitive) (informal) to steal or take without asking
11.
(transitive) (informal) to arrest
noun
12.
a squeeze or sustained nip
13.
the quantity of a substance, such as salt, that can be taken between a thumb and finger
14.
a very small quantity
15.
a critical situation; predicament; emergency: if it comes to the pinch we'll have to manage
16.
the pinch, sharp, painful, or extreme stress, need, etc: feeling the pinch of poverty
17.
See pinch bar
18.
(slang) a robbery
19.
(slang) a police raid or arrest
20.
at a pinch, if absolutely necessary
21.
with a pinch of salt, with a grain of salt, without wholly believing; sceptically
Word Origin
C16: probably from Old Norman French pinchier (unattested); related to Old French pincier to pinch; compare Late Latin punctiāre to prick

salt

/sɔːlt/
noun
1.
a white powder or colourless crystalline solid, consisting mainly of sodium chloride and used for seasoning and preserving food
2.
(modifier) preserved in, flooded with, containing, or growing in salt or salty water: salt pork, salt marshes
3.
(chem) any of a class of usually crystalline solid compounds that are formed from, or can be regarded as formed from, an acid and a base by replacement of one or more hydrogen atoms in the acid molecules by positive ions from the base
4.
liveliness or pungency: his wit added salt to the discussion
5.
dry or laconic wit
6.
a sailor, esp one who is old and experienced
7.
short for saltcellar
8.
rub salt into someone's wounds, to make someone's pain, shame, etc, even worse
9.
salt of the earth, a person or group of people regarded as the finest of their kind
10.
with a grain of salt, with a pinch of salt, with reservations; sceptically
11.
worth one's salt, efficient; worthy of one's pay
verb (transitive)
12.
to season or preserve with salt
13.
to scatter salt over (an icy road, path, etc) to melt the ice
14.
to add zest to
15.
often foll by down or away. to preserve or cure with salt or saline solution
16.
(chem) to treat with common salt or other chemical salt
17.
to provide (cattle, etc) with salt
18.
to give a false appearance of value to, esp to introduce valuable ore fraudulently into (a mine, sample, etc)
adjective
19.
not sour, sweet, or bitter; salty
20.
(obsolete) rank or lascivious (esp in the phrase a salt wit)
See also salt away, salt out, salts
Derived Forms
saltish, adjective
saltless, adjective
saltlike, adjective
saltness, noun
Word Origin
Old English sealt; related to Old Norse, Gothic salt, German Salz, Lettish sāls, Latin sāl, Greek hals

SALT

/sɔːlt/
noun acronym
1.
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks or Treaty
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for with grain salt

pinch

v.

early 13c., from Old North French *pinchier "to pinch, squeeze, nip; steal" (Old French pincier, Modern French pincer), of uncertain origin, possibly from Vulgar Latin *punctiare "to pierce," which might be a blend of Latin punctum "point" + *piccare "to pierce." Meaning "to steal" in English is from 1650s. Sense of "to be stingy" is recorded from early 14c. Related: Pinched; pinching.

n.

late 15c., "critical juncture" (as in baseball pinch hitter, attested from 1912), from pinch (v.). This figurative sense is attested earlier than the literal sense of "act of pinching" (1590s) or that of "small quantity" (as much as can be pinched between a thumb and finger), which is from 1580s. There is a use of the noun from mid-15c. apparently meaning "fold or pleat of fabric."

salt

n.

Old English sealt "salt" (n.; also as an adjective, "salty, briny"), from Proto-Germanic *saltom (cf. Old Saxon, Old Norse, Old Frisian, Gothic salt, Dutch zout, German Salz), from PIE *sal- "salt" (cf. Greek hals "salt, sea," Latin sal, Old Church Slavonic soli, Old Irish salann, Welsh halen "salt").

Modern chemistry sense is from 1790. Meaning "experienced sailor" is first attested 1840, in reference to the salinity of the sea. Salt was long regarded as having power to repel spiritual and magical evil. Many metaphoric uses reflect that this was once a rare and important resource, e.g. worth one's salt (1830), salt of the earth (Old English, after Matt. v:13). Belief that spilling salt brings bad luck is attested from 16c. To be above (or below) the salt (1590s) refers to customs of seating at a long table according to rank or honor, and placing a large salt-cellar in the middle of the dining table.

Salt-lick first recorded 1751; salt-marsh is Old English sealtne mersc; salt-shaker is from 1882. Salt-and-pepper "of dark and light color" first recorded 1915. To take something with a grain of salt is from 1640s, from Modern Latin cum grano salis.

v.

Old English sealtan, from Proto-Germanic *salto- (see salt (n.)), and in part from the noun. Related: Salted; salting.

SALT

n.

Cold War U.S.-U.S.S.R. nuclear weapons negotiations, 1968, acronym for Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (which would make SALT talks redundant, but the last element sometimes also is understood as treaty).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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with grain salt in Medicine

salt (sôlt)
n.

  1. A colorless or white crystalline solid, chiefly sodium chloride, used extensively as a food seasoning and preservative.

  2. A chemical compound replacing all or part of the hydrogen ions of an acid with metal ions or electropositive radicals.

  3. salts Any of various mineral salts, such as magnesium sulfate, sodium sulfate, or potassium sodium tartrate, used as laxatives or cathartics.

  4. salts Smelling salts.

  5. salts Epsom salts.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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with grain salt in Science
salt
  (sôlt)   
  1. Any of a large class of chemical compounds formed when a positively charged ion (a cation) bonds with a negatively charged ion (an anion), as when a halogen bonds with a metal. Salts are water soluble; when dissolved, the ions are freed from each other, and the electrical conductivity of the water is increased. See more at complex salt, double salt, simple salt.

  2. A colorless or white crystalline salt in which a sodium atom (the cation) is bonded to a chlorine atom (the anion). This salt is found naturally in all animal fluids, in seawater, and in underground deposits (when it is often called halite). It is used widely as a food seasoning and preservative. Also called common salt, sodium chloride, table salt. Chemical formula: NaCl.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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with grain salt in Culture

salt definition


In chemistry, a compound resulting from the combination of an acid and a base, which neutralize each other.

Note: Common table salt is sodium chloride.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for with grain salt

pinch

noun

: make a respectable number of pinches to stay off the transfer list (1900+)

verb
  1. To steal; swipe: Who pinched the script? (1656+)
  2. To arrest; bust: The stores will invite ill will if they pinch indiscriminately (1837+)
Related Terms

in a pinch


salt

noun
  1. A sailor, esp an old and seasoned one (1840+)
  2. Heroin in powder form (1960s+ Narcotics)
Related Terms

go pound salt


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for with grain salt

SALT

  1. Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
  2. Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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with grain salt in the Bible

used to season food (Job 6:6), and mixed with the fodder of cattle (Isa. 30:24, "clean;" in marg. of R.V. "salted"). All meat-offerings were seasoned with salt (Lev. 2:13). To eat salt with one is to partake of his hospitality, to derive subsistence from him; and hence he who did so was bound to look after his host's interests (Ezra 4:14, "We have maintenance from the king's palace;" A.V. marg., "We are salted with the salt of the palace;" R.V., "We eat the salt of the palace"). A "covenant of salt" (Num. 18:19; 2 Chr. 13:5) was a covenant of perpetual obligation. New-born children were rubbed with salt (Ezek. 16:4). Disciples are likened unto salt, with reference to its cleansing and preserving uses (Matt. 5:13). When Abimelech took the city of Shechem, he sowed the place with salt, that it might always remain a barren soil (Judg. 9:45). Sir Lyon Playfair argues, on scientific grounds, that under the generic name of "salt," in certain passages, we are to understand petroleum or its residue asphalt. Thus in Gen. 19:26 he would read "pillar of asphalt;" and in Matt. 5:13, instead of "salt," "petroleum," which loses its essence by exposure, as salt does not, and becomes asphalt, with which pavements were made. The Jebel Usdum, to the south of the Dead Sea, is a mountain of rock salt about 7 miles long and from 2 to 3 miles wide and some hundreds of feet high.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with with grain salt
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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