every inch

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inch 1

n. Abbr. in or in.
1. A unit of length in the US Customary and British Imperial systems, equal to 1/12 of a foot (2.54 centimeters). See Table at measurement.
2. A fall, as of rain or snow, sufficient to cover a surface to the depth of one inch.
3. A unit of atmospheric pressure that is equal to the pressure exerted by a one-inch column of mercury at the earth's surface at a temperature of 0°C.
4. A very small degree or amount: won't budge an inch.
intr. & tr.v. inched, inch·ing, inch·es
To move or cause to move slowly or by small degrees: inching along through stalled traffic; inched the chair forward.
every inch
In every respect; entirely: "Ay, every inch a king!" (Shakespeare).
inch by inch
Very gradually or slowly.
within an inch of
Almost to the point of: came within an inch of death.

[Middle English, from Old English ynce, from Latin ūncia, one twelfth of a unit; see oi-no- in Indo-European roots.]

inch 2

n. Scots
A small island.

[Middle English, from Scottish Gaelic innis, from Old Irish inis.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.every inch - in every way; completely; "he was every inch a statesman"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
I never saw him when we forded the river; when we planted the English flag in the first breach; when we crossed the ditch beyond; and, fighting every inch of our way, entered the town.
There was the one house in England of which I knew every inch, and Raffles only what I told him.
He was old now, but when he was young he must have been splendid; he had still a proud way of holding his head and arching his neck; in fact, he was a high-bred, fine-mannered, noble old horse, every inch of him.
And we had been compelled to row, in a dead calm, practically every inch of the way.
Every inch of her was charged with an energy that made itself felt the moment she entered a room.
Her mother hastened to explain, smiles breaking from every inch of her person.
Our Emperor joined the army to encourage it to defend every inch of Russian soil and not to retreat.
He crawled straight toward Grey Beaver, every inch of his progress becoming slower and more painful.
'With a hunger and thirst upon me, father, which have never been for a moment appeased; with an ardent impulse towards some region where rules, and figures, and definitions were not quite absolute; I have grown up, battling every inch of my way.'
And fait that same is no wonder at all at all (so be plased to stop curlin your nose), for every inch o' the six wakes that I've been a gintleman, and left aff wid the bogthrothing to take up wid the Barronissy, it's Pathrick that's been living like a houly imperor, and gitting the iddication and the graces.
And Ghak, too; the great, shaggy man had found a place in the hearts of us both, for he was indeed every inch a man and king.
The red men had not yet forced the outer palace wall, but they were fighting nobly against the best that Okar afforded--valiant warriors who contested every inch of the way.

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