Definition of inch by inch in US English:

inch by inch


  • Gradually; bit by bit.

    ‘inch by inch he crept along the wall’
    • ‘Despite everything that weighs us down, we continue to creep forward inch by inch.’
    • ‘For the next three hours, the structure was edged into place inch by inch, so slowly that at times it seemed to be motionless in midair.’
    • ‘You measure progress inch by inch, not by leaps and bounds.’
    • ‘My reputation was earned inch by inch, slowly and painfully.’
    • ‘Slowly, inch by inch, the rope moved across the room.’
    • ‘The woman's voice rose higher, quivering, filled with the pain of who knew how many fights, with the water of how many hells, which approached him as soon as the dam broke, advancing inch by inch.’
    • ‘After a few moments of just pulling with no reaction from the sled, and one foot slipping up on the ground, Buck actually begins to move the sled forward very slowly, inch by inch!’
    • ‘Although toxic floodwaters receded inch by inch, only five of New Orleans' normal contingent of 148 drainage pumps were operating, the corps said.’
    • ‘The tide rose noticeably inch by inch, creeping up the two seaward tires alarmingly, my tires spun ever-deeper holes in the wet sand.’
    • ‘Some of which we can now queue to see, filing along inch by inch, but much of which is still hidden two metres below the city's Georgian architecture.’
    slowly, moderately, unhurriedly, cautiously, gently, gingerly, circumspectly, unspectacularly
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