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[siz-erz] /ˈsɪz ərz/
(used with a singular or plural verb) a cutting instrument for paper, cloth, etc., consisting of two blades, each having a ring-shaped handle, that are so pivoted together that their sharp edges work one against the other (often used with pair of).
(used with a singular verb) Gymnastics. any of several feats in which the legs execute a scissorlike motion.
(used with a singular verb) Wrestling. a hold secured by clasping the legs around the body or head of the opponent.
Origin of scissors
1350-1400; Middle English cisoures, sisoures < Middle French cisoires < Medieval Latin *cīsōria, plural of Late Latin cīsōrium cutting tool (see chisel); current spelling by association with Latin scindere to cut (past participle scīssus), Medieval Latin scīssor tailor


[siz-er] /ˈsɪz ər/
verb (used with object)
to cut or clip out with scissors.
to eliminate or eradicate from a text; expunge:
testimony scissored from the record.
verb (used without object)
to move one's body or legs like the blades of scissors:
a gymnast scissoring over the bar.
1605-15; v. use of singular of scissors
Related forms
unscissored, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for scissors
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Eliza said that she had found her scissors, and very likely I should find the Shakespeare some other night.

    Eliza Barry Pain
  • “And we have scissors and needles and thread and thimbles, of course,” said Bracy mockingly.

    Fix Bay'nets George Manville Fenn
  • With well-greased fingers she pulled the candy quickly, then cut into small pieces or short sticks with the scissors.

  • "I'll cut off your head," declared Tommy, threatening with the scissors.

    Nine Little Goslings Susan Coolidge
  • The next most important tool is the scissors, two pairs of which should be procured, one pair long and fine, 5.5 in.

    Practical Taxidermy Montagu Browne
British Dictionary definitions for scissors


plural noun
Also called pair of scissors. a cutting instrument used for cloth, hair, etc, having two crossed pivoted blades that cut by a shearing action, with ring-shaped handles at one end
a wrestling hold in which a wrestler wraps his legs round his opponent's body or head, locks his feet together, and squeezes
any gymnastic or athletic feat in which the legs cross and uncross in a scissor-like movement
(athletics) a technique in high-jumping, now little used, in which the legs perform a scissor-like movement in clearing the bar
Derived Forms
scissor-like, adjective
Word Origin
C14 sisoures, from Old French cisoires, from Vulgar Latin cīsōria (unattested), ultimately from Latin caedere to cut; see chisel


(modifier) of or relating to scissors: a scissor blade
to cut (an object) with scissors
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 scissors

late 14c., sisoures, from Old French cisoires (plural) "shears," from Vulgar Latin *cisoria (plural) "cutting instrument," from *cisus (in compounds such as Latin excisus, past participle of excidere "to cut out"), ultimately from Latin caedere "to cut" (see -cide). Spelling with sc- is 16c., from influence of Medieval Latin scissor "tailor," in classical Latin "carver, cutter," from past participle stem of scindere "to split."

Usually with pair of (attested from c.1400) when indication of just one is required, but a singular form without the -s occasionally was used (cysowre, mid-15c.). In Scotland, shears answers for all sizes, according to OED; but in England generally that word is used only for those too large to be worked by one hand. Sense in wrestling is from 1904. Oh scissors! was a 19c. exclamation of impatience or disgust (1843). In reference to a type of swimming kick, from 1902 (the image itself is from 1880s).



1610s, "to cut with scissors;" 1961 with reference to leg motions (in the wrestling sense it is attested from 1968); see scissors. Related: Scissored; scissoring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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