Forms: lME in a late copy–15 quynche, 15 quinche, 15–16 18– quinch, 16 quince.
Etymology:Origin uncertain. Perhaps a variant of quetch v. (compare β. forms at that entry), perhaps by association with winch v.1; or perhaps a variant of either winch v.1 or wince v.1
Now arch. or regional.
intr. To move, stir, make a slight noise; to start, flinch.
1511 Promp. Parv. (de Worde) sig. H.iv, Quynchyn [1440 Harl. qvycchyn], or meuyn, moueo.
1530 J. Palsgrave Lesclarcissement 677/1, I Quynche, I styrre, je mouue.
1530 J. Palsgrave Lesclarcissement 677/1, I quynche, I make a noyse, je tynte.
1587 A. Fleming et al. Holinshed's Chron. (new ed.) III. 583/2 He..[was] so manfull of mind as neuer seene to quinch at a wound.
a1599 Spenser View State Ireland in J. Ware Two Hist. Ireland (1633) 98 To bestow all my Souldiers in such sort as I have done, that no part of all that Realme shall be able to dare to quinch.
1607 R. C. tr. H. Estienne World of Wonders 49 None durst once quince or speake a word against him.
1627 Ld. Falkland Hist. Edward II (1680) 81 Which single durst not quinch, much less encounter.
1672 Gentleman's Jockey (ed. 2) 140 If you nip it between your Fingers and Thumb, he will quinch..very much.
1823 E. Moor Suffolk Words 302 Quinch, I think this word was formerly known to me..in the sense of to winch, or wince.
1941 E. R. Eddison Fish Dinner vii. 114 The Vicar met his eye without quinching.
1995 in Dict. Amer. Regional Eng. (1996) IV. 419/1 Quinch to wince.