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[pin-serz] /ˈpɪn sərz/
noun, (usually used with a plural verb)
a gripping tool consisting of two pivoted limbs forming a pair of jaws and a pair of handles (usually used with pair of).
Zoology. a grasping organ or pair of organs resembling this, as the claw of a lobster.
Origin of pincers
1300-50; Middle English pinsers, earlier pynceours, plural of *pinceour < Anglo-French pince(r) to pinch + -our -or2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pincers
  • Or how about sending down some mechanical pincers to crush that pipe closed.
  • Some robots have three claws that can act as pincers to pick things up.
  • pincers poised and eyes gleaming, a bulldog ant surveys its surroundings.
  • The pincers close in stages as you squeeze the handles, providing gentle pressure.
  • Well, then, bring on the thumbscrews and the pincers and the electrodes and the rack.
  • Armored bugs wielding ferocious pincers crawl out of the prettiest flowers.
  • pincers taped shut and useless, the one-pound lobster struggling to escape to nowhere.
  • The body is stout, and the pincers are broad and powerful.
  • It has a blue-green head and pincers and a dark, rust-brown carapace.
  • The pincers have numerous blackish specks on their basal parts.
British Dictionary definitions for pincers


plural noun
Also called pair of pincers. a gripping tool consisting of two hinged arms with handles at one end and, at the other, curved bevelled jaws that close on the workpiece: used esp for extracting nails
the pair or pairs of jointed grasping appendages in lobsters and certain other arthropods
Word Origin
C14: from Old French pinceour, from Old French pincier to pinch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pincers

early 14c., "tool for grasping or nipping," from Old French pinceure "pincers, tongs," from pincier "to pinch" (see pinch). Applied to animal parts from 1650s. Related: Pincer.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pincers in Science
A jointed grasping claw of certain animals, such as lobsters and scorpions.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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