One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A straight or arched structure across an interior angle of a square tower to carry a superstructure such as a dome.
- ‘he drum of the dome, carried by the squinches, has a series of ceramic grilled windows which allow light to filter in from above.’
- ‘The transition to the dome is achieved with trilobed squinches at the corners, mirrored with trilobed blind arches above the side niches.’
- ‘They experimented with devices for the reflection and refraction of light: mosaics were placed in carefully constructed squinches and pendentifs, in curved apses, in domes; even on flat surfaces, curved setting beds were employed.’
- ‘First started in the tomb of Iltutmish, the weight of the dome is transferred to the square base by the same mechanism - the squinch.’
- ‘Bam provided a veritable encyclopaedia of such historic structural elements: varieties of sun-dried mud brick squinches and vaults, many with the inclined arched technique recently used by Hassan Fathy.’
Late 15th century: alteration of obsolete scunch, abbreviation of scuncheon.
verb[with object]North American
1Tense up the muscles of (one's eyes or face)‘Gina squinched her face up’
tighten, tauten, tense up, flex, contract, brace, stiffenView synonyms
- ‘She squinched her eyes shut, then opened them again.’
- ‘She squinched her eyes shut at this new and uncomfortable feeling.’
- ‘He squinched his eyes shut, and opened them wide, then closed them, then opened them again.’
- ‘She looked at him inquisitively, squinching her eyes, deciding against the kick.’
- ‘The children all squinched their eyes together tightly, forcing themselves to stay inert, struggling to focus on keeping their eyes shut.’
- ‘He squinted for a better look, and the angel squinched up her blue eyes, too.’
- ‘Water washed over her like a canopy as she squinched her eyes shut.’
- ‘‘You're looking forward to this?’ she squinched up her face.’
- ‘She squinched her eyes tight so she wouldn't cry.’
- ‘He didn't seem to be too keen on the idea, however, and squinched up his tiny face whenever her hand drew near.’
- ‘She squinched up her nose and gave him that oh-you're so-adorable look.’
- ‘She squinches her forehead, trying to remember.’
- ‘‘It'll be hard to find other good female friends as good-looking as you,’ he said and Adia squinched her nose.’
- ‘I refuse to try on something like that,’ she squinched her eyes closed and made a cross with her fingers and giggled.’
- ‘The light caused Clara to squinch her eyelids tight.’
- 1.1no object (of a person's eyes) narrow so as to be almost closed, typically in reaction to strong light.‘he flicked on the inside light, which made my eyes squinch up’
narrow, become narrow, become narrower, become tight, become tighter, become pinchedView synonyms
- ‘Bob's round features squinched up as he chided, ‘You said a potty word.’’
2no object Crouch down in order to make oneself seem smaller or to occupy less space.‘I squinched down under the sheet’
- ‘So there was, of course, no other alternative than to hide away on a cot, squinched to the wall as far as I could go.’
Early 19th century: perhaps a blend of the verbs squeeze and pinch.
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