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[pans-ney, pins-; French pans-ney] /ˈpænsˌneɪ, ˈpɪns-; French pɛ̃sˈneɪ/
noun, plural pince-nez
[pans-neyz, pins-; French pans-ney] /ˈpænsˌneɪz, ˈpɪns-; French pɛ̃sˈneɪ/ (Show IPA)
a pair of glasses held on the face by a spring that grips the nose.
Origin of pince-nez
1875-80; < French: literally, (it) pinches (the) nose Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pince-nez
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His dark eyes sparkle with inquisitiveness behind the pince-nez.

    Mountain Meditations L. Lind-af-Hageby
  • The scything had begun, and she took off her pince-nez to watch it.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • The little lady tapped Roma's arm with her pince-nez and laughed.

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • The secretary, who had once been a governess, adjusted her pince-nez and took a note.

    The Red Hand of Ulster George A. Birmingham
  • Presently he took off his pince-nez and put them into his pocket.

    Jack O' Judgment Edgar Wallace
  • "Go and look for my pince-nez, my dear," said Mrs. Clibborn, turning to Mary.

    The Hero William Somerset Maugham
  • The Premier put on his pince-nez and warmed his hands at the fire.

    The Blue Germ Martin Swayne
  • Edna adapted her pince-nez and turned perfunctorily for a moment.

    In Brief Authority F. Anstey
  • She put on her pince-nez again, and went out to the head of the staircase.

    In Brief Authority F. Anstey
British Dictionary definitions for pince-nez


/ˈpænsˌneɪ; ˈpɪns-; French pɛ̃sne/
noun (pl) pince-nez
eyeglasses that are held in place only by means of a clip over the bridge of the nose
Word Origin
C19: French, literally: pinch-nose
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pince-nez

folding eyeglasses, 1876, French, literally "pinch-nose," from pincer "to pinch" (see pinch (v.)) + nez "nose" (see nose (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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