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Squinch is a word with two very different meanings, one common and one not as common. We will examine the definitions of the word squinch, where it came from and some examples of the word squinch used in sentences.

The verb squinch means to contort one’s face in a squeezing manner or to crouch as if to fit in a small space. Related words are squinches, squinched, squinching. This sense of the word squinch first appeared in the 1840s, perhaps as a portmanteau of the words squint or squeeze and pinch. A portmanteau is a word constructed by blending the sounds and meanings of two different words. An older meaning of the word squinch comes from the 1600s. In this case, squinch is used as a noun to mean an architectural feature that is an arched structure across the roof of a building, used as a base to hold a dome. This use of the word squinch is derived from the word scuncheon, which is the inner portion of a window frame or door jamb.


Squinching, on the other hand, is about closing your eyes, which, following Hurley’s logic, makes us look less afraid and more certain. (The Guardian)

The latest advancement in strategic, like-amassing picture taking is squinching, which is narrowing the eyes by tightening your lower eyelid and letting the top one drop down just a bit. (Marie Claire Magazine)

There are three ways of solving this: the squinch, in which the corners of the square room are filled out to form a base for the dome; the pendentive, which is a triangular segment that tapers at the bottom but spreads at the top to establish a circle needed to hold the dome; and the broken triangular surface that formed a belt just beneath the dome. (The Hurriyet Daily News)