[ skweez ]
/ skwiz /

verb (used with object), squeezed, squeez·ing.

verb (used without object), squeezed, squeez·ing.


Origin of squeeze

1590–1600; perhaps variant of obsolete squize (Old English cwȳsan) to squeeze, with initial s by false division of words in sandhi
Related formssqueez·er, nounsqueez·ing·ly, adverbin·ter·squeeze, verb (used with object), in·ter·squeezed, in·ter·squeez·ing.un·squeezed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for squeeze through


/ (skwiːz) /

verb (mainly tr)


Derived Formssqueezable, adjectivesqueezer, noun

Word Origin for squeeze

C16: from Middle English queysen to press, from Old English cwӯsan
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 squeeze through



c.1600, probably an alteration of quease (c.1550), from Old English cwysan "to squeeze," of unknown origin, perhaps imitative (cf. German quetschen "to squeeze"). Slang expression to put the squeeze on (someone or something) "exert influence" is from 1711. Baseball squeeze play first recorded 1905. Main squeeze "most important person" is attested from 1896; meaning "one's sweetheart, lover" is attested by 1980.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with squeeze through (1 of 2)

squeeze through

Also, squeeze by. Manage to pass, win, or survive by a narrow margin, as in We squeezed through the second round of playoffs, or There was just enough food stored in the cabin for us to squeeze by until the hurricane ended. This idiom uses squeeze in the sense of “succeed by means of compression.” [c. 1700] Also see squeak by.

Idioms and Phrases with squeeze through (2 of 2)


In addition to the idioms beginning with squeeze

  • squeeze off
  • squeeze play
  • squeeze through

also see:

  • main squeeze
  • put the arm (squeeze) on
  • tight squeeze
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.