pin·cer | \ˈpin(t)-sər, especially for sense 1 US often ˈpin-chər\

Definition of pincer 

1a pincers plural : an instrument having two short handles and two grasping jaws working on a pivot and used for gripping things

b : a claw (as of a lobster) resembling a pair of pincers : chela

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Other Words from pincer

pincerlike \ˈpin(t)-sər-ˌlīk \ adjective

Examples of pincer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The pincers are closing on what remains of affirmative action, and in a few years, with Justice Gorsuch and Justice Federalist Society Favorite TBA on the bench, the conservative movement may finally get its wish. Jay Willis, GQ, "The Trump Administration Is Hell-Bent on Ending Affirmative Action," 3 July 2018 Additional training and dedication to the hip arthroscopy surgical techniques have allowed him to become proficient in treating femoral acetabular impingement (cam and pincer impingement) and labral tears of the hip. Orthocincy,, "About us: Dr. Kevin J. Shaw," 19 June 2018 Then the flood from Main Street took out her front door, squeezing her in a pincer of rushing currents. Steve Hendrix, Washington Post, "‘I thought I was prepared’: Ellicott City business owners confront second disaster," 29 May 2018 Earwigs are unusual among insects in that the female fusses over her eggs and nymphs, and uses her pincers to protect them. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Control Earwigs In Your Garden—And Keep Them From Getting In Your House," 29 Mar. 2017 In recent years, scientists have learned shrimp colonies are constantly at war: Males with extra-large pincers patrol the colony's perimeter like soldiers on guard duty, protecting the egg-laying queens. National Geographic, "These Neon Shrimp Are the Bees of the Sea—Here's Why," 14 Mar. 2018 The researchers turned their attention to the pupae, which have defensive sets of miniature pincers along their abdomens. Asher Elbein, New York Times, "Insects Flew Before Anything Else Did. So How Did They Get Their Wings?," 26 Mar. 2018 The entire closure process is controlled by a small collection of panels where the two arms of the pincer meet; changes there simply propagate down the arms. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Earwig’s wing inspires compact designs that fold themselves," 23 Mar. 2018 Soft grippers, which are typically controlled by changes in air pressure, can cram and wiggle into hard-to-reach places that would otherwise be inaccessible to hard pincers. Daniela Hernandez, WSJ, "Robots Are Learning to Handle With Care," 11 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pincer.' 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 pincer

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for pincer

Middle English pinceour, from Anglo-French *pinceour, pinchure, from Anglo-French *pincher, pincer to pinch, from Vulgar Latin *pinctiare, *punctiare, from Latin punctum puncture — more at point

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Time Traveler for pincer

The first known use of pincer was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of pincer

pincers : a small tool that is used for holding or gripping small objects

: a claw of a lobster or crab and some insects


pin·cer | \ˈpin-chər, ˈpin-sər\

Kids Definition of pincer

1 pincers plural : a tool with two handles and two jaws for holding or gripping small objects

2 : a part (as the claw of a lobster) resembling a pair of pincers

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More from Merriam-Webster on pincer

See words that rhyme with pincer

Spanish Central: Translation of pincer

Nglish: Translation of pincer for Spanish Speakers

Comments on pincer

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


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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