\ ˈskwēz \
squeezed; squeezing

Definition of squeeze

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to exert pressure especially on opposite sides of : compress
b : to extract or emit under pressure
c : to force or thrust by compression
2a(1) : to get by extortion
(2) : to deprive by extortion
b : to cause economic hardship to
c : to reduce the amount of squeezes profits
3 : to crowd into a limited area
4 : to gain or win by a narrow margin
5 : to force (another player) to discard in bridge so as to unguard a suit
6 : to score by means of a squeeze play

intransitive verb

1 : to give way before pressure
2 : to exert pressure also : to practice extortion or oppression
3 : to force one's way squeeze through a door
4 : to pass, win, or get by narrowly



Definition of squeeze (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an act or instance of squeezing : compression
b : handclasp also : embrace
2a : a quantity squeezed out from something a squeeze of lemon
b : a group crowded together : crowd
3 : a profit taken by a middleman on goods or transactions
4 : a financial pressure caused by narrowing margins or by shortages
5 : a forced discard in bridge
7 slang : a romantic partner she's my main squeeze

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Other Words from squeeze


squeezability \ ˌskwē-​zə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
squeezable \ ˈskwē-​zə-​bəl \ adjective
squeezer noun

Examples of squeeze in a Sentence


He lightly squeezed her hand and smiled. Gently squeeze the fruit to see if it's ripe. Hold it securely but don't squeeze too hard. He squeezed the juice from the orange.


Fifty guests will be a bit of a squeeze. It'll be a tight squeeze, but we can all fit.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But squeezed by the same forces, all military branches must sweeten their enlistment deals, adding sign-up and retention bonuses and loosening medical standards on childhood conditions like asthma and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Dave Philipps, The Seattle Times, "The Army, in need of recruits, turns focus to Seattle, other liberal-leaning cities," 2 Jan. 2019 And sometimes, fitting in a workout means squeezing it into a quick 30-minute window and then rushing off to the next obligation. Amy Marturana, SELF, "This Is What Happens When You Don’t Eat Enough After Working Out," 2 Jan. 2019 Even more striking, a dish painted by Pierre II Chapelle (Rouen c. 1725-30) depicts the wine god, Bacchus, about to enjoy a libation freshly squeezed by a merry putto. Barrymore Laurence Scherer, WSJ, "‘Masterpieces of French Faience: Selections From the Sidney R. Knafel Collection’ Review: Not Dishwasher Safe," 1 Jan. 2019 Fogelman has taken what amounts to a season’s worth of This Is Us twists and reveals (maybe more) and squeezed them into a 109-minute movie. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Life Itself is a disaster of a movie, caught in a web of its own privilege," 21 Sep. 2018 He was squeezed by home plate umpire Stu Scheurwater against Gordon, and had a few more borderline pitches go in the hitter’s favor in that inning. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles' Andrew Cashner rebounds for another quality start after command lapse in second," 26 June 2018 As their margins have been squeezed by the digital disruptors, bricks-and-mortar stores have been hit by rising business rates and wage bills, which affected them harder than online retailers. The Economist, "As shoppers go online, high streets reinvent themselves," 14 June 2018 Singapore has warned previously that countries should not be squeezed by competition between the U.S. and a rising China, or forced to take sides. Rosalind Mathieson, Bloomberg.com, "Singapore Says U.S., China Both Risking Status Quo With Actions," 3 June 2018 Sick performance vehicles like the Dodge Viper and Infiniti QX70 are being squeezed out by newer, better, brighter more. Eric D. Lawrence, chicagotribune.com, "Fiat Chrysler's plan to grow Jeep and Ram does not include Dodge or Chrysler," 1 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

From recipe building blocks to classic condiments, these ingredients are bound to become your main squeeze. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "The 10 Foods and Condiments in Tubes That Make My Life Easier," 17 Oct. 2018 Airlines argue that the squeeze is a result of customer demand for cheaper seating. Christopher Elliott, The Seattle Times, "Travel Wise | On airplanes, personal space is a vanishing commodity. Here’s how to cope.," 22 Oct. 2018 Fresh garden herbs like mint, oregano, and tarragon make everything taste even more fragrant and fresh, a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of deliciously peppery extra virgin olive oil from my husband’s estate in Sicily is all that is needed. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "How to Throw an End of Summer Garden Party, From London’s Favorite Eat-In Flower Shop," 3 Aug. 2018 Nowhere is the squeeze between Trump and his trade policies more evident than in North Dakota, where Trump is trying to oust incumbent Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. Tory Newmyer, chicagotribune.com, "Trump tariffs could test unity for Republican candidates in key Senate races," 5 July 2018 The squeeze is so untenable for some that a rising number of people in the tech community are moving way out to find cheaper living setups — including to Bend, Oregon, recently named the most popular remote employee area in the state. Natasha Turak, USA TODAY, "Fire-ravaged Silicon Valley house on the market for a cool $800,000," 12 Apr. 2018 The personnel squeeze is forcing employers to offer incentives to attract workers. Audrey Mcavoy And Christopher S. Rugaber, The Christian Science Monitor, "Hawaii's low unemployment presents unique challenges," 5 Apr. 2018 While the squeeze may be past the worst, no one expects a rapid consumer revival with household spending -- and the economy as a whole -- forecast to see the weakest growth in years in 2018. Lucy Meakin, Bloomberg.com, "Strain on U.K. Consumers Persists; Current-Account Gap Narrows," 29 Mar. 2018 The squeeze is tightest in cyber-security, programming, engineering and data science. The Economist, "America’s intelligence agencies find creative ways to compete for talent," 1 Mar. 2018

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


circa 1601, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for squeeze


alteration of obsolete English quease, from Middle English queysen, from Old English cwȳsan; akin to Icelandic kveisa stomach cramps

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Statistics for squeeze

Last Updated

9 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for squeeze

The first known use of squeeze was circa 1601

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More Definitions for squeeze



English Language Learners Definition of squeeze

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to press together the parts and especially the opposite sides of (something)

: to get or remove (something) by squeezing something

: to pull back on (a gun's trigger) with your finger



English Language Learners Definition of squeeze (Entry 2 of 2)

: a situation in which people or things are crowded together

: an act of squeezing something

: a small amount that is gotten or removed from something (such as a piece of fruit) by squeezing it


\ ˈskwēz \
squeezed; squeezing

Kids Definition of squeeze

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to press together from the opposite sides or parts of : compress
2 : to get by squeezing Squeeze the juice from a lemon.
3 : to force or crowd in by compressing We squeezed into the car.



Kids Definition of squeeze (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or instance of compressing

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More from Merriam-Webster on squeeze

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for squeeze

Spanish Central: Translation of squeeze

Nglish: Translation of squeeze for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of squeeze for Arabic Speakers

Comments on squeeze

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


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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