1 of 4

noun (1)

: any of various tools with two jaws for holding work that close usually by a screw, lever, or cam
: something likened to a vise
economic vise of slow growth and rampant price increasesDavid Milne
viselike adjective

Illustration of vise

Illustration of vise
  • vise 1


2 of 4

verb (1)

vised; vising

transitive verb

: to hold, force, or squeeze with or as if with a vise


3 of 4

verb (2)

vi·​sé ˈvē-ˌzā How to pronounce visé (audio)
viséd or viséed; viséing


4 of 4

noun (2)

: visa

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
The word vise was misspelled as vice in a quote by Emory University economist Caroline Fohlin in a U.S. News article on Thursday about the effect of higher interest rates on consumers. WSJ, 23 Sep. 2022 The steady tightening of the vise as scene after scene ratcheted up tension was excruciating Tension and suspense are sacrificed here. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Sep. 2022 Russian troops lunged from two directions, closing the city in a vise, routing Ukrainian soldiers in the first few weeks, and pushing them back to the sea and toward Azovstal. New York Times, 20 July 2022 Corwin acknowledges that while their hearts are in the right place, the Academy’s mission is to support all films, equally, and they are being put in a vise by ABC. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 15 Mar. 2022 News breaks almost weekly out of North Texas school districts that partisan politics has local governance in a vise and wants to make teachers and administrations its scapegoats. Dallas News, 10 Jan. 2022 Hetu described this situation as being caught in a vise. Christopher Leonard, Fortune, 22 Nov. 2021 After all, if even the longtime Trump exec can get caught in a vise, no one is immune. Philip Elliott, Time, 1 July 2021 Then clamp the elbow in a vise, and secure the connections with a wrench on the valve's facets. Joe Kohl-riggs, Popular Mechanics, 26 June 2021 See More

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

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English vys, vice screw, from Anglo-French vyz, from Latin vitis vine — more at withy

Verb (2)

French, past participle of viser to visa, from visa

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1500, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

1602, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

1810, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1842, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of vise was in 1500

Dictionary Entries Near vise

Cite this Entry

“Vise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: any of various tools with two jaws for holding work that close usually by a screw or lever
viselike adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on vise

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