[ siz-erz ]
See synonyms for scissors on
  1. (used with a singular or plural verb) a cutting instrument for paper, cloth, etc., consisting of two blades, each having a ring-shaped handle, that are so pivoted together that their sharp edges work one against the other (often used with pair of).

  2. (used with a singular verb)Gymnastics. any of several feats in which the legs execute a scissorlike motion.

  1. (used with a singular verb)Wrestling. a hold secured by clasping the legs around the body or head of the opponent.

Origin of scissors

1350–1400; Middle English cisoures, sisoures<Middle French cisoires<Medieval Latin *cīsōria, plural of Late Latin cīsōrium cutting tool (see chisel); current spelling by association with Latin scindere to cut (past participle scīssus), Medieval Latin scīssor tailor

Words Nearby scissors Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use scissors in a sentence

  • Cas9 are the molecular scissors that cut out what he does not like: the normal CCR5 that welcomes in HIV.

    Gene Editing Could Erase HIV | Dr. Anand Veeravagu, MD, Michael Zhang | June 11, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • A collection of rock-like papier-mâché sculptures stands across from “Cymbals, Smoke and scissors.”

  • Taking the scissors from Violet's workbag, she cut the laundry bag carefully into two pieces, saving the cord for a clothesline.

    The Box-Car Children | Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • They were tangled, too, and Jess cut them off evenly by a string, with Violet's little scissors.

    The Box-Car Children | Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • Miss Rivers took up some brown leaves which she was cutting out with scissors, and shaping.

    The Daisy Chain | Charlotte Yonge
  • “It comes from the dead,” said she, but she opened it at last, cutting round the large seal with a pair of scissors.

    David Fleming's Forgiveness | Margaret Murray Robertson
  • At his belt he carries a pair of scissors to cut the long leaves of the green tobacco he smokes into the hollow of his hand.

    The Nabob | Alphonse Daudet

British Dictionary definitions for scissors


/ (ˈsɪzəz) /

pl n
  1. Also called: pair of scissors a cutting instrument used for cloth, hair, etc, having two crossed pivoted blades that cut by a shearing action, with ring-shaped handles at one end

  2. a wrestling hold in which a wrestler wraps his legs round his opponent's body or head, locks his feet together, and squeezes

  1. any gymnastic or athletic feat in which the legs cross and uncross in a scissor-like movement

  2. athletics a technique in high-jumping, now little used, in which the legs perform a scissor-like movement in clearing the bar

Origin of scissors

C14 sisoures, from Old French cisoires, from Vulgar Latin cīsōria (unattested), ultimately from Latin caedere to cut; see chisel

Derived forms of scissors

  • scissor-like, adjective

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