pincer movement


: a military attack by two coordinated forces that close in on an enemy position from different directions
: a combination of two forces acting against an opposing force

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In the early stages of the war, Russia had converted Izyum into a military stronghold, eyeing the city as the base for a pincer movement that would surround Ukrainian forces in the east. Kamila Hrabchuk, Washington Post, 29 Dec. 2022 For decades, two armies of high-rises have been executing a slow-motion pincer movement along the East River, marching south from Long Island City and north from Williamsburg. Curbed, 14 Dec. 2022 Persians closed in from both ends of the pass in a classic pincer movement. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 19 Dec. 2020 Moscow tried to seize the area in a pincer movement in the early days of the war and into the summer. Thomas Grove, WSJ, 8 Dec. 2022 Neoliberalism could be analogized to a large pincer movement, of which one prong is globalization and the other financialization, with neither able to function successfully without the other. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, 23 Nov. 2022 As his platoon approached a Russian position near the town of Zolota Balka along the river, the Ukrainians simultaneously attacked each flank in a pincer movement. Kamila Hrabchuk, Washington Post, 13 Oct. 2022 Alibaba’s problems are a combination of the effects of China’s slowing growth and a political pincer movement that has crushed the country’s tech sector for nearly two years. Patrick Frater, Variety, 4 Aug. 2022 The Ukrainians are located in a north-south crescent between deep Russian lines in the southeastern Donbas region, and a potential pincer movement to their west. Karen Deyoung, Anchorage Daily News, 26 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pincer movement.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1915, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pincer movement was in 1915

Dictionary Entries Near pincer movement

Cite this Entry

“Pincer movement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Mar. 2023.

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