Main definitions of squinch in English

: squinch1squinch2

squinch1

noun

  • A straight or arched structure across an interior angle of a square tower to carry a superstructure such as a dome.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

Late 15th century: alteration of obsolete scunch, abbreviation of scuncheon.

Pronunciation:

squinch

/skwɪn(t)ʃ/

Main definitions of squinch in English

: squinch1squinch2

squinch2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]North American
  • 1Tense up the muscles of (one's eyes or face):

    ‘Gina squinched her face up’
    • ‘She squinched her eyes shut, then opened them again.’
    • ‘She looked at him inquisitively, squinching her eyes, deciding against the kick.’
    • ‘Water washed over her like a canopy as she squinched her eyes shut.’
    • ‘She squinched her eyes tight so she wouldn't cry.’
    • ‘The children all squinched their eyes together tightly, forcing themselves to stay inert, struggling to focus on keeping their eyes shut.’
    • ‘She squinches her forehead, trying to remember.’
    • ‘He squinched his eyes shut, and opened them wide, then closed them, then opened them again.’
    • ‘The light caused Clara to squinch her eyelids tight.’
    • ‘She squinched up her nose and gave him that oh-you're so-adorable look.’
    • ‘She squinched her eyes shut at this new and uncomfortable feeling.’
    • ‘I refuse to try on something like that,’ she squinched her eyes closed and made a cross with her fingers and giggled.’
    • ‘He squinted for a better look, and the angel squinched up her blue eyes, too.’
    • ‘He didn't seem to be too keen on the idea, however, and squinched up his tiny face whenever her hand drew near.’
    • ‘‘It'll be hard to find other good female friends as good-looking as you,’ he said and Adia squinched her nose.’
    • ‘‘You're looking forward to this?’ she squinched up her face.’
    1. 1.1[no 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’
      • ‘Bob's round features squinched up as he chided, ‘You said a potty word.’’
      narrow, become narrow, become narrower, become tight, become tighter, become pinched
      View synonyms
  • 2[no 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.’

Origin

Early 19th century: perhaps a blend of the verbs squeeze and pinch.

Pronunciation:

squinch

/skwɪn(t)ʃ/