Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n.pl. Small pincers, usually of metal, used for plucking or handling small objects.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small pincerlike instrument, usually made of metal, used for handling or picking up small objects (such as postage stamps), plucking out (plucking) hairs, pulling out slivers, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.pl. Small pinchers used to pluck out hairs, and for other purposes.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • An instrument, resembling diminutive tongs, for grasping and holding; intended for taking up very small objects, plucking out hairs, etc. Also called volsella.
  • Same as tweeze, 1.

Etymologies

From obsolete tweezes, pl. of tweeze, a case for tweezers or other small instruments, alteration of etweese, from French étuis, pl. of étui; see étui.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
17th century (1645–55): plural of tweeser (on the model of nippers, pincers, pliers or scissors), from obsolete tweeze ("case for small instruments") (or alternatively, alteration of plural form tweezes), aphetic form of earlier etweese (plural of etwee), from French étuis, plural of French étui ("case, box, cover") (from Old French estui ("container, prison")), noun derivative of Old French étuier (earlier spelling, Old French estuier ("to shut up, guard, keep, preserve, save, enclose, place in a cover")), probably from Vulgar Latin *estudiāre (“to keep, treat with care”) or Vulgar Latin *studiāre, from Latin studēre ("to care about"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • One is called tweezers, an 'is of no earthly use that I know of except to pull the hairs out o' your nose, which no man in his senses ever wants to do; and the other thing is, I suppose, for borin 'small holes in things -- it's almost as useless.

    Red Rooney The Last of the Crew

  • The second video--shot in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province--is from a news report broadcast on Dongfang Weishi, a satellite news station based in Shanghai, in which the newsreader actually refers to tweezers, not chopsticks.

    msnbc.com: Top msnbc.com headlines

  • Besides Arato's arrest on Monday for which he could face 15 years in prison, a Phoenix baggage handler was charged with stealing at least a thousand bags in September, and in January, a Buffalo TSA agent admitted to taking home confiscated items such as tweezers, water bottles and nail clippers--from security.

    More TSA Thieves Strike, This Time At JFK

  • Even weirder, in January a Buffalo transit cop admitted to taking home items left behind at TSA checkpoints--such as tweezers, water bottles and nail clippers.

    Why Do Airport Cops Keep Stealing From Passengers?

  • This airport police officer, however, is said to have over 1,000 items, such as tweezers and nail clippers, at his home.

    Buffalo Transit Cop Took Confiscated Items Home

  • In the late 1980s, the former dentist (Zargana means "tweezers") began his career as a comedian, appearing on Burmese television farcically detailing the failures of government.

    Craig and Marc Kielburger: Burma's Junta Doesn't See Humor in Zargana's Comedy

  • Popularly known as Zarganar ( "tweezers" in Burmese), he also is considered Myanmar's Charlie Chaplin.

    In Myanmar,

  • Male burials contain weapons -- swords, lances, and javelins -- as well as some bronze personal items such as tweezers and razors.

    Bountiful Celtic Burials

  • It also nixes trial-size containers, cosmetic applicators such as tweezers or eyelash curlers, and accessories like makeup bags,

    Fore, right!

  • The Reading team found specific sequences of monomers in a copolyimide could be recognised by their interactions with additional molecules known as 'tweezers', which match the shape and electrical charge of sections of the sequence.

    The Engineer - News

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