or vice



any of various devices, usually having two jaws that may be brought together or separated by means of a screw, lever, or the like, used to hold an object firmly while work is being done on it.

verb (used with object), vised, vis·ing.

to hold, press, or squeeze with or as with a vise.

Origin of vise

1300–50; Middle English vis < Old French: screw < Latin vītis vine (whose spiral form gave later sense)
Related formsvise·like, adjective


[vee-zey, vee-zey]

noun, verb (used with object), vi·séed, vi·sé·ing.

Origin of visé

< French, past participle of viser to inspect, check; see visa Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for vise

tool, chuck, winch

Examples from the Web for vise

Contemporary Examples of vise

  • Their world is changing—has already changed, really—in the vise of the economy and new technology.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Hollywood vs. Leno

    Kim Masters

    September 13, 2009

Historical Examples of vise

  • The boards are then placed in a vise or clamp and allowed to remain there over night.

    Boys' Book of Model Boats

    Raymond Francis Yates

  • He licked his wide, cruel lips, seizing the girl's arms as in a vise.

    In the Orbit of Saturn

    Roman Frederick Starzl

  • His long, thin fingers were clutching her clasped hands as with a vise.

  • It seemed to me the most natural thing, when you'd got 'em in the vise, to keep them there.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

  • A good plan to judge of the proper height is to measure from the jaws of the vise.

British Dictionary definitions for vise


noun, verb

US a variant spelling of vice 2
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 vise

c.1300, "device like a screw or winch for bending a crossbow or catapult," from Old French vis, viz "screw," from Latin vitis "vine, tendril of a vine," literally "that which winds," from root of viere "to bind, twist" (see withy). The meaning "clamping tool with two jaws closed by a screw" is first recorded c.1500.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper