AskDefine | Define pincer

Dictionary Definition



1 a hand tool for holding consisting of a compound lever [syn: pair of pincers, tweezer, pair of tweezers]
2 a structure like a pincer on the limb of a crustacean or other arthropods [syn: claw, chela, nipper]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. any object that resembles one half of a pair of pincers

Derived terms


  1. (Of an attack) See pincer attack




  1. To pinch (skin)
  2. To pinch (to arrest)
  3. To pluck (a stringed instrument)


Extensive Definition

A pincer is a device with a pair of levers that act to concentrate force on a point.


Pincers are hand tools used in many situations where a mechanical advantage is required to pinch, cut or pull an object. Pincers are first-class levers, but differ from pliers in that the concentration of force is either to a point, or to an edge perpendicular to the length of the tool. This allows pincers to be brought close to a surface, as is often required when working with nails. Carpenter's pincers are particularly suited to this task.


Many insects possess pincers to assist carrying loads, for defense from other creatures, or to attack prey. The pincers are usually part of the creature's mandible, and often venom or acid can be injected during a pincer strike.
Some arthropods such as crabs, lobsters and scorpions possess pincers in the form of claws at the ends of their front limbs, to assist in feeding, defense, or even courtship.

Military usage

A pincer movement is an attack where the enemy is approached from the two flanks and from the front. Examples include the Battle of El Mazuco (1937) and the Battle of Sitka (1803).
pincer in Catalan: Tenalles
pincer in German: Monierzange
pincer in Spanish: Tenaza
pincer in Esperanto: Tenajlo
pincer in Western Frisian: Knyptange (ark)
pincer in Italian: Tenaglia
pincer in Dutch: Nijptang
pincer in Sicilian: Tinagghia
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