\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

It’s easier to move through those gaps than to try to squeeze past people in front of you. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "10 Important Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When You’re in a Crowd," 20 Sep. 2018 The former has won 10 times, the latter four, while Top Chef managed to squeeze its way in there for a single win in 2010. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Winners: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Netflix, and old people. Losers: Atlanta and The Handmaid’s Tale.," 18 Sep. 2018 The two-mile coastal Bondi-to-Bronte trail has phenomenal Pacific views and is easy to squeeze in before dinner at Icebergs, the beachside bar with the now- iconic rock pool. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Sydney: The Black Book," 5 July 2018 Compact-car spaces, generally 7 feet to 8 feet wide and 15.5 feet deep, are becoming more commonplace in some congested cities, as builders try to squeeze in more parking. Christina Rogers, WSJ, "Americans’ Love Affair With Huge Vehicles Collides With Tiny Parking Spaces," 15 June 2018 Nobody has any more minutes in their day to squeeze in reading time. Popular Mechanics, "Today's Best Deals: The Dremel That Does It All," 12 June 2018 In addition to addressing the memo, Spiegel managed to squeeze in at least one shot at Facebook, which has famously copied many of Snapchat’s most successful features. Maya Kosoff, The Hive, "“People Are Going to Make Mistakes”: Evan Spiegel Defends Snap Against Charges of Sexism," 30 May 2018 Rain, shmain — through pockets of clouds and periods of torrential rain, NASCAR still managed to squeeze in qualifying on Friday night ahead of Saturday's All-Star Race. Brendan Marks, charlotteobserver, "The pole-sitter wasn't the only surprise at the NASCAR All-Star Race on Friday | Charlotte Observer," 18 May 2018 After several minutes, Obioma managed to squeeze her way to her seat. Kristine Phillips, Washington Post, "Nigerian woman kicked off United flight after white man complained she was ‘pungent,’ suit says," 12 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

To serve, top tortillas with beans, peppers, avocado, queso fresco (if desired), cilantro and a squeeze of lime from the wedges. Melissa Clark, The Seattle Times, "How to make sheet-pan suppers without the meat," 1 Oct. 2018 Add horseradish to taste (start with a couple of tablespoons, and keep going until just before your head explodes) and a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of good vinegar. James P. Dewan, chicagotribune.com, "5 flavor-packed sauces to pair with Fourth of July grilled steaks," 26 June 2018 The asada was straightforward, enlivened by a squeeze of simple salsa. Alex Kiesig, idahostatesman, "'I love this city': Eat your way through the Capital City Public Market," 6 July 2018 Serve cutlets topped with a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of remaining basil oil and tomato-mozzarella salad. Melissa Clark, charlotteobserver, "Chicken Milanese has its moment," 19 June 2018 Drizzle cooked asparagus with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice and serve it cold as crudites. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Asparagus still rolling in — so many reasons to love it," 10 June 2018 Peach preserves flavor smooth-drinking black tea that’s brightened with a squeeze of lemon and stiffened with a shot of Bulleit. Ashleigh Spitza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Keep it simple and seasonal in the kitchen during summer," 7 June 2018 But that tinkering can put pressure on existing restaurants and merchants to keep up with the squeeze of higher rents and landlord expectations. Ligaya Figueras, ajc, "Bagel Palace is latest exit amid Toco Hill Shopping Center revamp," 23 May 2018 Stuff the blossoms with cheese or other fillings, then bake or batter and fry them and serve with a squeeze of lemon or a bright aioli. Noelle Carter, latimes.com, "Edible flowers: Stuffed, fried and baked recipes for squash blossoms, now in season," 4 May 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

13 Nov 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).


by force of circumstances

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