Definition of nickel-and-dime in English:

nickel-and-dime

Line breaks: nickel-and-dime
North American informal

verb

[with object]
  • Harass (someone) by charging for many trivial items or services: we don’t nickel-and-dime our customers like some vendors that charge extra for every little utility
    More example sentences
    • If companies charge extra for specialized modules, they get accused of nickel-and-diming the customer.
    • Mobile-phone companies have inherited this arrogance, building their business models around nickel-and-diming customers.
    • It's an instance of consumers being nickel-and-dimed to death.

adjective

[attributive] Back to top  
  • Of little importance: the only games this weekend are nickel-and-dime stuff
    More example sentences
    • We couldn't subsidize [housing] enough, so people have to have jobs and they have to be living-wage jobs, not the nickel-and-dime stuff.
    • Harbaugh did nothing but throw nickel-and-dime stuff in the fourth quarter, and if he continues to play, that's probably how it's going to be.
    • We can start with a tiny company in a hardscrabble nickel-and-dime industry and build it into a billion-dollar business.

Origin

1930s: originally denoting a shop selling articles costing five or ten cents.

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