• synonyms


noun (used with a singular or plural verb)
  1. small pincers or nippers for plucking out hairs, extracting splinters, picking up small objects, etc.
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Origin of tweezers

1645–55; plural of tweezer, equivalent to obsolete tweeze case of surgical instruments (aphetic form of earlier etweese < French étuis, plural of étui, noun derivative of Old French étuier to keep < Latin stūdiāre to care for) + -er1


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

Examples from the Web for tweezers

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Jewelers' tweezers are the finest thing to be had for this work.


    Leon Luther Pray

  • Arrange the fur over all stitches by picking it free with tweezers.


    Leon Luther Pray

  • Now, Dean, I must come to you for another of your surgical instruments—the tweezers.

    Dead Man's Land

    George Manville Fenn

  • Bobby procured his tweezers and began to set up his own name.

    The Adventures of Bobby Orde

    Stewart Edward White

  • The poor fellow has a thorn in his pad; I am going upstairs for my tweezers.

    The Second Mrs. Tanqueray

    Sir Arthur Wing Pinero

British Dictionary definitions for tweezers


pl n
  1. a small pincer-like instrument for handling small objects, plucking out hairs, etcAlso called: pair of tweezers, (esp US) tweezer
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Word Origin

C17: plural of tweezer (on the model of scissors, etc), from tweeze case of instruments, from French étuis cases (of instruments), from Old French estuier to preserve, from Vulgar Latin studiāre (unattested) to keep, from Latin studēre to care about
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 tweezers


1650s, extended from tweezes, plural of tweeze "case for tweezers" (1620s), a shortening of etweese, considered as plural of etwee (1610s) "a small case," from French étui "small case" (see etui). Sense transferred from the case to the implement inside it.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper