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.
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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

ˌinch by ˈinch

very slowly and with great care or difficulty: She crawled forward inch by inch.
See also: by, inch

inch by inch

Very gradually or slowly.
See also: by, inch
References in classic literature ?
Slowly, inch by inch, they floated on, and the fish tugged and tugged and kept them going.
The shadow of this wall soon took posession of the whole of the ground as far as I could see, forcing the golden sunlight to retreat inch by inch, and at last take refuge in the very tops of the trees.
All that goes to the glory and joy of life perished in that uncountable roll of days, when the sun went out, and inch by inch the wall rose which will divide me forever from you and all the world.
Making the watch-tackle fast, I hove on the windlass and brought in the mast, inch by inch, till its top tilted down to the deck and finally its whole length lay on the deck.
Inch by inch, fighting with splendid gallantry, the attacking force was pressed back down the hillside, till at last it retreated upon its reserves in something like confusion.
Slowly she forced her great bulk, inch by inch, through the opening.