One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
By inches; little by little.‘inchmeal, he advanced up the slope’
slowly, moderately, unhurriedly, cautiously, gently, gingerly, circumspectly, unspectacularlyView synonyms
- ‘Not like a lion, not like a lamb, more like a slug: winter is arriving inchmeal in the New York City region.’
- ‘Like the movement of plates, erosion is a leisurely phenomenon that proceeds inchmeal.’
- ‘Trench warfare in Pennsylvania cities is therefore inchmeal, and the results hard to measure.’
- ‘The warm water moves inchmeal to the east; the coast of America gets slowly but surely a thicker layer of warm water.’
- ‘But in the 1,300 years since the sword of the Prophet first flashed in the hot desert sun of Arabia, most advances in the freedom of Moslem women have been painful and inchmeal.’
Mid 16th century: from inch + -meal from Old English mǣlum, in the sense ‘measure, quantity taken at one time’.
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