inch meaning, inch definition | English Cobuild dictionary

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  ( inches    plural & 3rd person present)   ( inching    present participle)   ( inched    past tense & past participle  )
1       n-count   An inch is an imperial unit of length, approximately equal to 2.54 centimetres. There are twelve inches in a foot.  
num N, oft N of n  
...18 inches below the surface.     
2       verb   To inch somewhere or to inch something somewhere means to move there very slowly and carefully, or to make something do this.  
...a climber inching up a vertical wall of rock...      V prep/adv  
He inched the van forward...      V n prep/adv  
An ambulance inched its way through the crowd.      V way prep/adv  
3    If you say that someone looks every inch a certain type of person, you are emphasizing that they look exactly like that kind of person.  
every inch      phrase   v-link PHR n     (emphasis)    He looks every inch the City businessman...     
4    If someone or something moves inch by inch, they move very slowly and carefully.  
inch by inch      phrase   PHR after v     (emphasis)    The car moved forward inch by inch...     
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