for·​ceps | \ ˈfȯr-səps How to pronounce forceps (audio) , -ˌseps \
plural forceps

Definition of forceps

: an instrument for grasping, holding firmly, or exerting traction upon objects especially for delicate operations (as by jewelers or surgeons)

Illustration of forceps

Illustration of forceps

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Other Words from forceps

forcepslike \ ˈfȯr-​səps-​ˌlīk How to pronounce forcepslike (audio) , -​ˌseps-​ \ adjective

Examples of forceps in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The removal process simply involves your medical practitioner grasping onto your IUD’s strings with forceps, then pulling out the device. Korin Miller, SELF, "13 Things You Absolutely Should Know Before Getting the Paragard Copper IUD," 8 Nov. 2019 Meanwhile, a surgeon removed them endoscopically with a pair of foreign body forceps. Laura Dorwart,, "This Man Had a 3-Inch Pair of Tweezers Stuck in His Urethra—But Showed No Symptoms for 4 Years," 11 Oct. 2019 Displays cover everything from early medical instruments (forceps, tongue depressors and tonsillotomes, also called tonsil guillotines) to MRI coils. Washington Post, "Knock yourself out in the Ether Dome," 9 Oct. 2019 Experts caution people not to touch the worms with their bare hands, and instead use gloves or disposable forceps. Fox News, "Texas woman discovers horde of black worms known to carry dangerous parasite in backyard," 4 July 2019 He and Fearn are sitting in the office that has become their joint headquarters, where a box of tissues sits next to a pair of forceps. Sarah Scoles, Scientific American, "The Good Kind of Crazy: The Quest for Exotic Propulsion," 29 July 2019 Maybe those printers could spit out the needles or forceps, too. Sarah Scoles, WIRED, "A New Kind of Space Camp Teaches the Art of Martian Medicine," 25 June 2019 My first delivery had a little bit of drama — forceps, suction — but the outcome was a perfectly healthy, 9-pound daughter. CBS News, "Doctors vs. midwives: OB-GYN blew the whistle, risked career, to protect moms and babies," 14 June 2019 Toyoda went to work in the late afternoon, gingerly using forceps and an electrocautery tool to separate Collins’ old heart from the sticky scar tissue that surrounded it. Tom Avril,, "He had 2 heart transplants. At 43, as a new dad, he needed a third," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'forceps.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of forceps

1634, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for forceps

Latin, tongs, perhaps from formus warm + capere to take — more at therm, heave entry 1

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Time Traveler for forceps

Time Traveler

The first known use of forceps was in 1634

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Statistics for forceps

Last Updated

8 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Forceps.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 8 December 2019.

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More Definitions for forceps


How to pronounce forceps (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of forceps

: a medical tool that is used for grasping or holding things


for·​ceps | \ ˈfȯr-səps How to pronounce forceps (audio) \
plural forceps

Kids Definition of forceps

: an instrument for grasping, holding, or pulling on things especially in delicate operations (as by a jeweler or surgeon)


for·​ceps | \ ˈfȯr-səps How to pronounce forceps (audio) , -ˌseps How to pronounce forceps (audio) \
plural forceps

Medical Definition of forceps

: an instrument for grasping, holding firmly, or exerting traction upon objects especially for delicate operations (as by surgeons, obstetricians, or dentists)

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More from Merriam-Webster on forceps

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with forceps

Spanish Central: Translation of forceps

Nglish: Translation of forceps for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about forceps

Comments on forceps

What made you want to look up forceps? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to constrict the range or activity of

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