pli·​ers | \ ˈplī(-ə)rz How to pronounce pliers (audio) \

Definition of pliers

: a small pincers for holding small objects or for bending and cutting wire

Examples of pliers in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Just carrying a basic set of pliers, wrenches, a ratchet with bits, some zip ties, super glue, duct tape, and other basics will empower you with the ability to effect these minor, but potentially critical repairs. Wes Siler, Outside Online, 16 June 2017 There’s a bike stem and vise-grip pliers on the passenger seat, a few rolls of film in the cup holder, and biodegradable glitter inside the console, where a bottle of it exploded. The Editors, Outside Online, 29 Dec. 2021 Then the hook can be bent back to shape with thumb pressure or with fishing pliers. Bill May,, 21 Nov. 2021 Indeed, mathematical optimization and machine learning are two tools that at first glance — like scissors and pliers — may seem to have a lot in common. Edward Rothberg, Forbes, 25 June 2021 So during a 2014 game, when Remy lost a tooth in the booth, Orsillo procured a pair of pliers and went to work., 15 June 2018 Ray photographed Marjorie tweaking a woman’s nipples with pliers; in another photo, Marjorie sports an ornamental collar that immobilized her neck. Jeremy Lybarger, The New Republic, 7 Oct. 2021 Nevertheless, estate tax planners will feel like carpenters who have lost their hammers, nails and pliers, and have significant construction to do somehow without them. Alan Gassman, Forbes, 14 Sep. 2021 Secure the pipe cleaner with hot glue and trim any excess using cutting pliers ($5, Walmart). Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Sep. 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of pliers

1565, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pliers

ply entry 2

Learn More About pliers

Dictionary Entries Near pliers




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for pliers

Last Updated

15 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pliers.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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

More Definitions for pliers



English Language Learners Definition of pliers

: a tool that is used for holding small objects or for bending and cutting wire


noun plural
pli·​ers | \ ˈplī-ərz How to pronounce pliers (audio) \

Kids Definition of pliers

: small pincers with long jaws used for bending or cutting wire or handling small things

More from Merriam-Webster on pliers

Nglish: Translation of pliers for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pliers for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about pliers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!