**Inch** (?), n. [Gael. *inis*.]

An island; -- often used in the names of small islands off the coast of Scotland, as in *Inch*colm, *Inch*keith, etc.

[Scot.]

© Webster 1913.

**Inch**, n. [OE. *inche*, *unche*, AS. *ynce*, L. *uncia* the twelfth part, inch, ounce. See Ounce a weight.]

**1.**

A measure of length, the twelfth part of a foot, commonly subdivided into halves, quarters, eights, sixteenths, etc., as among mechanics. It was also formerly divided into twelve parts, called *lines*, and originally into three parts, called *barleycorns*, its length supposed to have been determined from three grains of barley placed end to end lengthwise. It is also sometimes called a *prime* (�xb7;), composed of twelve seconds (�xb7;�xb7;), as in the duodecimal system of arithmetic.

<-- �xb7; is the same symbol as the light accent, or the "minutes" of an arc. The "seconds" synbol should actually have the two strokes closer than in repeated "minutes". Here, �xb7;�xb7; will be interpreted as "seconds" -->

12 seconds (�xb7;�xb7;) make 1 **inch** or prime. 12 **inches** or primes (�xb7;) make 1 foot.
*B. Greenleaf.*

⇒ The meter, the accepted scientific standard of length, equals 39.37 inches; the inch is equal to 2.54 centimeters. See Metric system, and Meter.

**2.**

A small distance or degree, whether or time space; hence, a critical moment.

Beldame, I think we watched you at an **inch**.
*Shak.*

By inches, by slow degrees, gradually. -- Inch of candle. See under Candle. -- Inches of pressure, usually, the pressure indicated by so many inches of a mercury column, as on a steam gauge. -- Inch of water. See under Water. -- Miner's inch, Hydraulic Mining, a unit for the measurement of water. See Inch of water, under Water.

© Webster 1913.

**Inch** (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Inched (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Inching.]

**1.**

To drive by inches, or small degrees.

[R.]

He gets too far into the soldier's grace
And **inches** out my master.
*Dryden.*

**2.**

To deal out by inches; to give sparingly.

[R.]

© Webster 1913.

**Inch**, v. i.

To advance or retire by inches or small degrees; to move slowly.

With slow paces measures back the field,
And **inches** to the walls.
*Dryden.*

© Webster 1913.

**Inch**, a.

Measurement an inch in any dimension, whether length, breadth, or thickness; -- used in composition; as, a two-**inch** cable; a four-**inch** plank.

Inch stuff, boards, etc., sawed one inch thick.

© Webster 1913.