for·​ceps | \ˈfȯr-səps, -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, -​ˌseps-​ \ adjective

Examples of forceps in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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 If your doctor needs to perform vacuum extraction or use forceps during delivery, your likelihood of getting a third- or fourth-degree laceration increases, according to Dr. Greves. Blake Bakkila,, "Here's What Chrissy Teigen Meant When She Said 'Life Is 90% Better When You Don't Rip to Your Butthole' During Childbirth," 22 May 2018 Surgeons at Fortis Hospital in New Delhi, removed the creatures using snares and forceps endoscopically, without surgery. Fox News, "Surgeons pull 14 roundworms from woman's bile duct," 2 May 2018 And one to clamp the forceps and extract the sought-after tooth. Cristela Guerra,, "The MFA, the FBI, and the 4,000-year-old mummy," 25 Apr. 2018 The researchers introduced the implant through a tiny incision in one eye's outer periphery using a minuscule set of forceps. Melissa Healy,, "This retinal implant may one day cure blindness caused by macular degeneration," 5 Apr. 2018 That became the plan, and Comander reached in with forceps. Eric Boodman, STAT, "‘That’s $425,000 right there’ — the anxious launch of a gene therapy with a record sticker price," 21 Mar. 2018 That became the plan, and Comander reached in with forceps. Eric Boodman,, "Gene therapy with record sticker price launched," 21 Mar. 2018 Dilation and evacuation involve dilating the cervix and then using suction or forceps to empty the uterus, and is typically used starting around 14 weeks. Amina Khan,, "The National Academies take a hard look at the safety and quality of abortion care in the U.S.," 16 Mar. 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

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Time Traveler for forceps

The first known use of forceps was in 1634

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More Definitions for forceps



English Language Learners Definition of forceps

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


for·​ceps | \ˈfȯr-səps \
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, -ˌseps \
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

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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