Definition of pinched in US English:



  • 1(of a person or their face) tense and pale from cold, worry, or hunger.

    • ‘Nathan was tall, with a pale, pinched face, and David was shorter and almost stocky, with a tan and brownish hair.’
    • ‘Standing and gathering her cloak tightly around her shoulders she turned away from Madam Corbeau's pinched expression and down the lane.’
    • ‘He was thin and gaunt, with an odious pinched white face and fierce big black bushy eyebrows.’
    • ‘Augusta is a tall, thin girl with a pinched face with an unpleasant expression.’
    • ‘Recognition played across his pinched face.’
    • ‘She wore purple contacts and had thin eyebrows to go along with her pinched cheeks and small chin.’
    • ‘There were bags under her eyes, and her face was pale and pinched looking.’
    • ‘I crouched down over Holly, and drew back the curtain of golden hair to reveal a white, pinched face.’
    • ‘On the tube between High Street Kensington and Earl's Court in the hottest part of this afternoon, there was a woman with a pinched face and knuckles wrapped whitely around a small backpack.’
    • ‘In the dim light of the tent his bony features reflected Leah's sallow grimace, Ksandra's pinched cheeks.’
    • ‘The six cameras dotted around the court picked up her pinched and weary face as the Lord Advocate began questioning her.’
    • ‘The children looked pinched and hollow-eyed for want of food.’
    • ‘Danovin strode in with a pinched expression, and sighed as he leaned against the door, shooting into a sharp and speedy litany that made Visbec chuckle.’
    • ‘She makes you feel as if you are witnessing the reactions to a disturbing scene, because anxiety is what you read in the whites of eyes, pinched cheeks, stringy hair.’
    • ‘Randomly, one or the other gets a pinched expression.’
    • ‘The queen was a thin woman, with pointy elbows, a pinched face, and wispy white hair on which the crown marking her rank sat.’
    • ‘She looked to the side, and two faces hovered over her, both pinched and worried.’
    • ‘The vendor was a young woman with a pinched face.’
    • ‘Prosser appears the stereotypical Welshman - pinched face, thin-rimmed spectacles and no sign of extravagance.’
    • ‘Her usually rosy cheeks were now pinched and deathly pale.’
    strained, stressed, fraught, tense, taut, tired, worn, drained, sapped
    View synonyms
  • 2Hurt by financial hardship.

    ‘consumers feel pinched by rising costs in repairs and housing’
    • ‘Its atmosphere is nonetheless bleak, evoking cold gray skies and a pinched existence in a slum area of town, with the ever-present fear of discrimination.’