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

Examples of vise in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Other than the brief negotiations in 2011–12 and 2018–19, three successive U.S. administrations have relied on a global pressure campaign to tighten the vise on North Korea while stopping short of instigating war. Frank Aum, Foreign Affairs, 22 Dec. 2022 Asked whether leading Berkeley felt like being caught in a vise, Dr. Christ nodded and smiled a tight smile. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, 6 June 2024
Another way is if the appointee wins the special election but not the regular election, or vise versa. Taylor Seely, The Arizona Republic, 19 Mar. 2024 McDonald’s left leg was vised between two plates of armored steel. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 10 Nov. 2023 See all Example Sentences for vise 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vise.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 15 Jul. 2024.

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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