Meaning of “inch” in the English Dictionary

"inch" in British English

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inchnoun [ C ]

uk /ɪntʃ/ us /ɪntʃ/ written abbreviation in.

B1 a unit used for measuring length, approximately equal to 2.54 centimetres, sometimes shown by the symbol ″:

Twelve inches are equal to one foot.
He had a cut an inch long above his left eye.
The snow was six inches deep in some places.
a piece of wood 2″ by 2″

More examples

  • As you grow older, your spine shortens by about an inch.
  • She is five foot three inches tall.
  • It says on the packet you should plant the bulbs 4 inches deep.
  • At least an inch of rain fell overnight.
  • Can you remember how to convert centimetres into inches?

inchverb [ I or T, + adv/prep ]

uk /ɪntʃ/ us /ɪntʃ/

(Definition of “inch” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"inch" in American English

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inchnoun [ C ]

us /ɪntʃ/ abbreviation in., symbol

inch noun [ C ] (MEASUREMENT)

a unit of measurement of length equal to 1/12 foot or 2.54 centimeters

inch verb [ always + adv/prep ] (MOVE)

to move very slowly, or in a lot of short stages:

[ T ] Mike inched the bookcase into position.

(Definition of “inch” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"inch" in Business English

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inchnoun [ C ]

uk /ɪnʃ/ us abbreviation in., symbol ʺ

MEASURES a unit of measure equal to one-twelfth of a foot or 2.54 centimetres:

Eighteen inches of snow disrupted deliveries across the Midwest.
The tablet computer's screen measures / 9.4 inches diagonally.
Sheet metal cladding costs more per square inch than reinforced plastic.
See also

inchverb [ I ]

uk /ɪnʃ/ us

to move very slowly or in a lot of short stages:

inch ahead/along/forward Crates inched along the conveyor belt on their way out of the warehouse.
Legislators inched closer to closing a loophole in the law.
inch up/upward Stocks slowly inched upward in March.

(Definition of “inch” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)