inch by inch


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inch by inch

In very small increments; very gradually. Can be used both literally and figuratively. It took us years, but we dug this tunnel inch by inch. You won't improve your grade all at once, but rather inch by inch throughout the semester.
See also: by, inch
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

inch by inch

Fig. one inch at a time; little by little. Traffic moved along inch by inch. Inch by inch, the snail moved across the stone.
See also: by, inch
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

ˌinch by ˈinch

very slowly and with great care or difficulty: She crawled forward inch by inch.
See also: by, inch
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

inch by inch

Very gradually or slowly.
See also: by, inch
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.
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References in classic literature ?
The elastic, light step of an Indian was gone, and in its place he was compelled to toil his tardy way over the ground, inch by inch. His dark, wrinkled countenance was in singular and wild contrast with the long white locks which floated on his shoulders, in such thickness, as to announce that generations had probably passed away since they had last been shorn.
Now all this while that the traitor told his tale Umslopogaas, inch by inch, was edging near to him and yet nearer, till at length he might have touched him with an outstretched spear.
Lighting the lamp he moved the bed to one side and, inch by inch, he felt over the entire floor.
to keep from being eaten, a resourceful inchworm measures a robin's tale, a flamingo's neck, a toucan's beak, a heron's legs, and a nightingale's song in Leo Lionni's "Inch By Inch", originally published by HarperCollins and winner of a Caldecott Honor Book award.
Imagine him doing this, inch by inch, and the point will grow on you.
Progressive sprinter Inch By Inch can stretch her winning streak to six in the Bet At The Races 0800 083 83 83 Handicap at Wolverhampton today, writes Alan Keyte.
INCH BY INCH completed the hat-trick at Nottingham yesterday and could be one to follow.