• synonyms


  1. a person or thing that pinches.
  2. pinchers, (usually used with a plural verb) pincers.
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Origin of pincher

1400–50; late Middle English pynchar niggard. See pinch, -er2


or pinch·ers

[pin-serz or pin-cherz]
noun (usually used with a plural verb)
  1. a gripping tool consisting of two pivoted limbs forming a pair of jaws and a pair of handles (usually used with pair of).
  2. Zoology. a grasping organ or pair of organs resembling this, as the claw of a lobster.
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Origin of pincers

1300–50; Middle English pinsers, earlier pynceours, plural of *pinceour < Anglo-French pince(r) to pinch + -our -or2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pinchers

Historical Examples of pinchers

  • There was the hose and screwcap, and there were his pinchers.

    Sign of the Green Arrow

    Roy J. (Roy Judson) Snell

  • It looked as though an iron hand had grasped it like a pair of pinchers.

  • The said pinchers are made to grip and loose the rope as required.

  • They had to be took out with a pinchers or they'd 'a' sewed his skin on to a barn door.

    A Man for the Ages

    Irving Bacheller

  • He made some of these by hand with the aid of pinchers and hammer.

British Dictionary definitions for pinchers


pl n
  1. 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
  2. the pair or pairs of jointed grasping appendages in lobsters and certain other arthropods
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Word Origin for pincers

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

Word Origin and History for pinchers



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pinchers in Science


  1. A jointed grasping claw of certain animals, such as lobsters and scorpions.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.