\ 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

Higher costs on lumber, caused by tariffs and forest fires, and on other building products have further squeezed small builders. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Big Builders Are Remodeling the Housing Market," 13 July 2018 Star Vasha squeezes into a shimmering yellow gown, wrists draped in strings of pearls. NBC News, "On stage, Russian drag stars leave fears behind," 10 July 2018 Members of the Thai navy SEALs and foreign divers squeezed through miles of tunnels, risking their lives to find and carry the young players through an underwater matrix that daunted the British specialists brought in to help. Hannah Beech, The Seattle Times, "For some Thai soccer-team members, cave ordeal was only their latest test," 10 July 2018 While some of the best players in the league still got paid (James, Chris Paul), the middle class has been absolutely squeezed out. Rohan Nadkarni, SI.com, "NBA Free Agency Needs to Return to Normal in 2019," 10 July 2018 According to Bloomberg, many major carriers have even squeezed legroom down to 28 inches on some short and medium flights. Olivia Harrison, refinery29.com, "Tiny Airline Seats Aren't Going To Get Bigger Anytime Soon," 9 July 2018 And high prices for the natural gas from which ammonia is made have squeezed margins. The Economist, "Shortages of carbon dioxide in Europe may get worse," 5 July 2018 This pragmatism squeezed the spiritual core from the Brazilian game, making the team difficult to distinguish from its competitors. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "The Annoying Genius Who Makes the World Cup Worth Watching," 5 July 2018 The price tag will squeeze the county’s finances, so alongside deploying more renewables and cutting greenhouse gas emissions, litigation is shaping up to be an important part of the county’s climate change strategy. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Why Colorado thinks it has a chance to make oil companies pay for climate change," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

If prices stay high, more highway, bridge, and transit projects could feel a budget squeeze. Adam Vaccaro, BostonGlobe.com, "Tariffs are making it more expensive to build in Boston — and that could push rents even higher," 12 July 2018 Kathy Eckhold is one who lives with the ever-tightening squeeze. Jenny Deam, Houston Chronicle, "Texans missing or delaying needed treatment because health costs too high," 12 July 2018 Disconnect their electrical plugs and then the dryer vent, which should be a simple squeeze-to-loosen metal ring or a ring clamp loosened by a screwdriver. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "8 Tips to Help You Move Like a Pro," 11 July 2018 Rodriguez taking a few steps back allowed Gomez to drop down a go-ahead safety squeeze in the seventh. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers mailbag: Will Michael Fulmer really be traded?," 10 July 2018 Cable distributors will only feel a tighter squeeze with HBO and Disney preparing to emulate Netflix’s end-run around them. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Netflix Is Expected to Spend up to $13 Billion on Original Programming This Year," 8 July 2018 There were two steals of home, one on a double steal and one on the failed attempt of a squeeze bunt. Paul Johnson, Aurora Beacon-News, "Jason Crafton better than fair, but ‘fluky’ second inning dooms Oswego in summer baseball regional semifinals," 11 July 2018 Devyn Greer wound up at third base on a squeeze bunt. Andrew Turner, latimes.com, "Daily Pilot Softball Dream Team: Unexpected year from Kelli Kufta kept Huntington Beach strong," 8 July 2018 The squeeze is only going to get worse. Ageing populations, continued emigration and widespread hostility to migrants mean workforces are soon going to shrink. The Economist, "Central Europe’s Goldilocks economies," 5 July 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

18 Sep 2018

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).


a magnificent or impressive array

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