Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A heavy clamp, usually mounted on a workbench and operated by a screw or lever, used in carpentry or metalworking to hold a piece in position.
  • transitive verb To hold or compress in or as if in a vise.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 1. To screw; force, as by a screw.
  • To press or squeeze with a vise, or as if with a vise; hold as if in a vise.
  • noun A screw.
  • noun The newel, or central shaft, of a winding staircase.
  • noun A gripping or holding tool or appliance, fixed or portable, used to hold an object firmly in position while work is performed upon it.
  • noun A tool for drawing rods of lead into the grooved rods called cames used for setting glass, especially in stained-glass windows.
  • noun A grip or grasp.
  • noun The cock or tap of a vessel.
  • noun Same as vese.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An instrument consisting of two jaws, closing by a screw, lever, cam, or the like, for holding work, as in filing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun US An instrument consisting of two jaws, closing by a screw, lever, cam, or the like, for holding work, as in filing.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a holding device attached to a workbench; has two jaws to hold workpiece firmly in place

Etymologies

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

[Middle English vis, screwlike device, from Old French, screw, from Latin vītis, vine (from its spiral wrappings); see wei- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French vis ("screw, winding stairs"), from Old French vis, viz, from Latin vitis ("vine"); probably akin to English withy.

Examples

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