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Definition of "nickel-and-dime" []

  • Involving or paying only a small amount of money: a nickel-and-dime job. (adjective)
  • Minor; small-time: "a nickel-and-dime operation run out of a single borrowed room” ( New York). (adjective)
  • To spend very little money. (verb-intransitive)
  • To drain or destroy bit by bit, especially financially: nickel-and-dimed the project to death. (verb-transitive)
  • To accumulate in small amounts: "nickel-and-diming a substantial bankroll together” ( Newsweek). (verb-transitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "nickel-and-dime" in a sentence
  • "Almost inevitably, governments have moved to defend the Church and to nickel-and-dime its victims."
  • "Leaving off a month saved $7 billion, and it was the first in a series of nickel-and-dime cuts: Leadership also sacrificed health insurance subsidies for layoff victims to continue coverage through COBRA, saving $7 billion, and a Senate deal to cut $25 per week from every unemployment check saved $6 billion."
  • "Test car, a 2009 S with automatic transmission and lots of nickel-and-dime color and trim charges (such as $100 for getting the top in denim blue instead of some other color), came to $31,550."
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