lead-pipe cinch

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lead-pipe cinch

A task that is easily, effortlessly, or certain to be accomplished. I've been running marathons for years now, so this 5K run will be a lead-pipe cinch for me. Everyone assumed her election would be a lead-pipe cinch, so it shocked the entire nation when she lost.
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Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

lead-pipe cinch

Fig. something very easy to do; something entirely certain to happen. I knew it was a lead-pie cinch that I would be selected to head the publication committee.
See also: cinch
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

lead-pipe cinch

A certainty, an assured success. For example, "An engagement ain't always a lead-pipe cinch" (O. Henry, The Sphinx Apple, 1907). This colloquial expression is of disputed origin. It may allude to the cinch that tightly holds a horse's saddle in place, which can make it easier for the rider to succeed in a race; or it may allude to a cinch in plumbing, in which a lead pipe is fastened with a band of steel to another pipe or a fixture, making a very secure joint. [Late 1800s]
See also: cinch
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

lead-pipe cinch

An absolute certainty; an easy success. Unlike the meaning of this cliché, the etymology is uncertain. It originated in America in the late nineteenth century and may refer to (l) the cinch that holds a horse’s saddle in place, which, if well fastened, makes it easier for the rider to win a race; or (2), more likely, to plumbing, where a lead pipe is fastened with a steel band to another pipe or fixture, making for a very secure joint. O. Henry used the term in a short story published in 1907 (The Sphinx Apple): “An engagement ain’t always a lead-pipe cinch.”
See also: cinch
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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