Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


or pinchers

[pin-serz or pin-cherz] /ˈpɪn sərz or ˈpɪn tʃərz/
noun, (usually used with a plural verb)
a gripping tool consisting of two pivoted limbs forming a pair of jaws and a pair of handles (usually used with pair of).
Zoology. a grasping organ or pair of organs resembling this, as the claw of a lobster.
Origin of pincers
1300-50; Middle English pinsers, earlier pynceours, plural of *pinceour < Anglo-French pince(r) to pinch + -our -or2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for pincers
Historical Examples
  • Bremner introduced the pincers slowly, being anxious to get a good hold of the tooth.

    The Lighthouse R.M. Ballantyne
  • During this time they cling to the swimming legs of the parent by means of their pincers.

  • Mr. Redmain filed away, heedless; then with the help of a pair of pincers freed the stone, and held it up in his hand.

    Mary Marston George MacDonald
  • Ten days are allowed when the hair is taken out with a pair of pincers.

  • The main use of his tail, indeed, is for folding away his wings, much as the earwig folds hers by aid of her pincers.

  • Each had her own wrenches and pincers to use for that purpose.

    The Guardian Angel Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • Her little, slender hands had no more strength, and when she broke a needle she could not draw it from the work with the pincers.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • A wrench followed; a yell was the result, and the pincers slipped!

    The Lighthouse R.M. Ballantyne
  • As a matter of fact, they do have pincers, but so minute that they can only be detected by microscopic examination.

    The Life of Crustacea William Thomas Calman
  • Mr. Hartgold took up a diamond with a pair of pincers, and exhibited it to the banker.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
British Dictionary definitions for pincers


plural noun
Also called pair of pincers. a gripping tool consisting of two hinged arms with handles at one end and, at the other, curved bevelled jaws that close on the workpiece: used esp for extracting nails
the pair or pairs of jointed grasping appendages in lobsters and certain other arthropods
Word Origin
C14: from Old French pinceour, from Old French pincier to pinch
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for pincers

early 14c., "tool for grasping or nipping," from Old French pinceure "pincers, tongs," from pincier "to pinch" (see pinch). Applied to animal parts from 1650s. Related: Pincer.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
pincers in Science
A jointed grasping claw of certain animals, such as lobsters and scorpions.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for pincers

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for pincers

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for pincers