[pans-ney, pins-; French pans-ney]

noun, plural pince-nez [pans-neyz, pins-; French pans-ney] /ˈpænsˌneɪz, ˈpɪns-; French pɛ̃sˈneɪ/.

a pair of glasses held on the face by a spring that grips the nose.

Nearby words

  1. pinatubo, mount,
  2. pinball,
  3. pinball machine,
  4. pinballer,
  5. pinbone,
  6. pincement,
  7. pincer movement,
  8. pincer nail,
  9. pincers,
  10. pincers movement

Origin of pince-nez

1875–80; < French: literally, (it) pinches (the) nose Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pince-nez

British Dictionary definitions for pince-nez


noun plural pince-nez

eyeglasses that are held in place only by means of a clip over the bridge of the nose

Word Origin for pince-nez

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

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