verb (used with object), squeezed, squeez·ing.
  1. to press forcibly together; compress.
  2. to apply pressure to in order to extract juice, sap, or the like: to squeeze an orange.
  3. to force out, extract, or procure by pressure: to squeeze juice from an orange.
  4. to thrust forcibly; force by pressure; cram: to squeeze three suits into a small suitcase.
  5. to fit into a small or crowded space or timespan: The doctor will try to squeeze you in between appointments.
  6. to enclose (another person's hand, arm, etc.) in one's hand and apply pressure as a token of affection, friendship, sympathy, or the like: His father squeezed his hand and wished him luck.
  7. to give (someone) a hug.
  8. to threaten, intimidate, harass, or oppress (a person) in order to obtain a favor, money, or an advantageous attitude or action.
  9. to cause financial hardship to: manufacturers squeezed by high tariffs.
  10. to obtain a facsimile impression of.
  11. to cause to merge, as two or more lines of traffic into fewer lanes.
  12. Baseball.
    1. to enable (a runner on third base) to score on a squeeze play (often followed by in): He squeezed him in with a perfect bunt.
    2. to score (a run) in this way (often followed by in): The Dodgers squeezed in a run in the eighth inning.
  13. Bridge. to force (an opponent) to play a potentially winning card on a trick he or she cannot win.
verb (used without object), squeezed, squeez·ing.
  1. to exert a compressing force.
  2. to force a way through some narrow or crowded place (usually followed by through, in, out, etc.).
  3. to merge or come together.
  1. the act or fact of squeezing or the fact of being squeezed.
  2. a clasping of one's hand around another's hand, arm, etc., as a token of affection, friendship, sympathy, or the like.
  3. a hug or close embrace.
  4. a troubled financial condition, especially caused by a shortage or restriction, as of credit or funds.
  5. a small quantity or amount of anything obtained by squeezing.
  6. squeak(def 3).
  7. Slang. a sweetheart: his main squeeze.
  8. a facsimile impression of an inscription or the like, obtained by pressing some plastic substance over or around it.
  9. squeeze play.
  10. Bridge. a play or circumstance whereby an opponent is forced to waste or discard a potentially winning card.
  11. an act of threatening, intimidating, harassing, or oppressing a person or persons to obtain a favor, money, or an advantageous attitude or action: gangsters putting the squeeze on small businesses.
  12. money or a favor obtained in such a way.

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

Synonyms for squeeze

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for squeeze through


verb (mainly tr)
  1. to grip or press firmly, esp so as to crush or distort; compress
  2. to crush or press (something) so as to extract (a liquid)to squeeze the juice from an orange; to squeeze an orange
  3. to apply gentle pressure to, as in affection or reassurancehe squeezed her hand
  4. to push or force in a confined spaceto squeeze six lettuces into one box; to squeeze through a crowd
  5. to hug closely
  6. to oppress with exacting demands, such as excessive taxes
  7. to exert pressure on (someone) in order to extort (something): to squeeze money out of a victim by blackmail
  8. (intr) to yield under pressure
  9. to make an impression of (a coin, etc) in a soft substance
  10. bridge whist to lead a card that forces (opponents) to discard potentially winning cards
  1. the act or an instance of squeezing or of being squeezed
  2. a hug or handclasp
  3. a crush of people in a confined space
  4. mainly British a condition of restricted credit imposed by a government to counteract price inflation
  5. an impression, esp of a coin, etc, made in a soft substance
  6. an amount extracted by squeezingadd a squeeze of lemon juice
  7. commerce any action taken by a trader or traders on a market that forces buyers to make purchases and prices to rise
  8. informal pressure brought to bear in order to extort something (esp in the phrase put the squeeze on)
  9. Also called: squeeze play bridge whist a manoeuvre that forces opponents to discard potentially winning cards
  10. informal a person with whom one is having a romantic relationship
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

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.


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.