\ 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

The company said profit was squeezed by rising costs for steel and other materials and transportation for components. Bob Tita, WSJ, "Deere Says Trade Tensions Holding Down Sales," 15 Feb. 2019 Historic neighborhoods are being squeezed by projects designed to attract wealthier residents. Scott Wilson, The Seattle Times, "Once flat and wide on the frontier, Western cityscapes are now rising tall and sleek," 4 Feb. 2019 Tightly squeeze and close the curler onto lashes. 4. Talia Abbas, SELF, "13 Mistakes You’re Making When Using an Eyelash Curler," 30 Jan. 2019 The first robot has stirring and squeeze push functions, and the second robot is concerned with print path generation and maintaining an operating system. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Made of Giant Concrete Blocks, the World's Longest 3D-Printed Bridge Was Built in 18 Days," 28 Jan. 2019 For now, Russian measures are squeezing official economic relations with Pyongyang, according to analysts, officials and businessmen in Russia’s eastern regions, near the North Korean border. Thomas Grove, WSJ, "‘These Are Our Friends’; Russians Push to Preserve North Korea Ties," 25 Jan. 2019 Just before serving, peel the avocado, cut it in half and squeeze a little lemon onto each half, then season with salt and pepper. Chrissy Teigen, Good Housekeeping, "Avocado with Toasty Crumbs," 14 Jan. 2019 The providers checked out her eye, squeezed in some eyedrops, and sent her home. Sarah Kliff, Vox, "I read 1,182 emergency room bills this year. Here’s what I learned.," 18 Dec. 2018 Using a vegetable peeler, remove 2 strips zest from lemons and thinly slice zest; squeeze ¼ cup juice. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Quick Charred Escarole with Sauteed Garlic and Lemon," 30 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

If Obama-like pipeline opponents are returned to power in Washington in 2020, the squeeze will be even worse. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Green Politics and Global Instability," 22 Jan. 2019 The squeeze is because tax revenue growth is expected to be weak while costs of certain big-ticket items like Medicaid, prisons and pensions grow. Tom Loftus, The Courier-Journal, "How deep will Matt Bevin's budget cuts be? Here's what we know," 11 Jan. 2018 With wage growth still relatively low, that’s creating a squeeze on consumers, and crimping their spending. David Goodman, Bloomberg.com, "U.K. Consumers Put Inflation Rate at Highest Since 2014," 9 Mar. 2018 An inning after that, in the top of the ninth, Austin Hedges laid down a bunt, Matt Szczur broke from third base on a safety squeeze and Rockies closer Greg Holland could not hold on to the ball. Dennis Lin, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Emotional victory for Solarte, Padres," 18 Sep. 2017 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

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

20 Feb 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

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