pli·​ers ˈplī(-ə)rz How to pronounce pliers (audio)
plural in form but singular or plural in construction
: a small pincers for holding small objects or for bending and cutting wire

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The multitool is set up with pliers, a file, an opener, a blade, and much more. Mark Stock, Men's Health, 3 Dec. 2022 While the various tools aren’t as fast and smooth to deploy as a single-blade pocket knife, all tools besides the pliers can be accessed without folding it open. Adrienne Donica, Popular Mechanics, 8 Dec. 2022 One of the creativity tests involved two strings hanging from the ceiling and a pair of pliers. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2021 The tool has 19 individual tools that sportspeople can use to fix their fishing or hunting gear including two knives, pliers wrenches and a fire starter, among other things. Chris Meehan, Popular Mechanics, 13 Dec. 2022 There, under the soft light of the moon above, villagers opened the coffin of the laborer, Rakesh Kumar Yadav, with pliers and axes. Bhadra Sharma Saumya Khandelwal, New York Times, 1 Dec. 2022 That involved a utility knife, hammer, pry bar, pliers and five-gallon Home Depot bucket to collect all the staples. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 10 Sep. 2022 The majority of the older sleds have a plug wrench, a 10mm/12mm combo opened wrench, a couple screwdrivers and a pair of pliers in the tool compartment. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Nov. 2022 The very first nutcrackers were metal tools that simply looked like a pair of modern-day pliers. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 31 Oct. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pliers.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


ply entry 3 (in sense "to bend") + -ers (plural of -er entry 2)

First Known Use

1565, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pliers was in 1565

Dictionary Entries Near pliers

Cite this Entry

“Pliers.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


noun plural
pli·​ers ˈplī(-ə)rz How to pronounce pliers (audio)
: a small pincers for holding small objects or for bending and cutting wire

More from Merriam-Webster on pliers

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