nickel-and-dime

1 of 2

adjective

nick·​el-and-dime ˌni-kəl-ən-ˈdīm How to pronounce nickel-and-dime (audio)
1
: involving or offering only a small amount of money
2

nickel-and-dime

2 of 2

verb

nickeled-and-dimed ˌni-kəld-ən-ˈdīmd How to pronounce nickel-and-dime (audio) or nickel-and-dimed ˌni-kəl-ən-ˈdīmd How to pronounce nickel-and-dime (audio) ; nickeling-and-diming ˌni-k(ə-)liŋ-ən-ˈdī-miŋ How to pronounce nickel-and-dime (audio) or nickel-and-diming ˌni-kəl-ən-ˈdī-miŋ How to pronounce nickel-and-dime (audio)

transitive verb

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

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

1879, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1913, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of nickel-and-dime was in 1879

Dictionary Entries Near nickel-and-dime

Cite this Entry

“Nickel-and-dime.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nickel-and-dime. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

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