nickel-and-dime

adjective
nick·​el-and-dime | \ ˌni-kəl-ən-ˈdīm How to pronounce nickel-and-dime (audio) \

Definition of nickel-and-dime

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : involving or offering only a small amount of money

nickel-and-dime

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) \

Definition of nickel-and-dime (Entry 2 of 2)

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

First Known Use of nickel-and-dime

Adjective

1879, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1913, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About nickel-and-dime

Time Traveler for nickel-and-dime

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near nickel-and-dime

nickelage

nickel-and-dime

nickel bloom

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for 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 21 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for nickel-and-dime

nickel-and-dime

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of nickel-and-dime

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: involving, making, or spending a small amount of money
: not very important

nickel-and-dime

verb

English Language Learners Definition of nickel-and-dime (Entry 2 of 2)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on nickel-and-dime

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nickel-and-dime

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

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!