1

nickel-and-dime

adjective nick·el-and-dime \ ˌni-kəl-ən-ˈdīm \

Definition of nickel-and-dime

1 : involving or offering only a small amount of money

First Known Use of nickel-and-dime

1879

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

2

nickel-and-dime

verb

Definition of nickel-and-dime

nickeled-and-dimed play \ˌni-kəld-ən-ˈdīmd\ or nickel-and-dimed play \ˌni-kəl-ən-ˈdīmd\; nickeling-and-diming play \ˌni-k(ə-)liŋ-ən-ˈdī-miŋ\ or nickel-and-diming play \ˌni-kəl-ən-ˈdī-miŋ\
1 : to impair, weaken, or defeat piecemeal (as through a series of small incursions or excessive attention to minor details)
2 : to treat (a person or situation) by paying excessive attention to small amounts of money often with a detrimental effect

First Known Use of nickel-and-dime

1913

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

NICKEL-AND-DIME Defined for English Language Learners

nickel-and-dime

Definition of nickel-and-dime for English Language Learners

  • : involving, making, or spending a small amount of money

  • : not very important


nickel-and-dime

Definition of nickel-and-dime for English Language Learners

  • : to make (someone) pay many small amounts of money over a long period of time


Learn More about nickel-and-dime


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

meaningless speech or writing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name More Food!

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!