Definition of scissors in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsɪzəz/
(also a pair of scissors)

plural noun

1An instrument used for cutting cloth, paper, and other material, consisting of two blades laid one on top of the other and fastened in the middle so as to allow them to be opened and closed by a thumb and finger inserted through rings on the end of their handles.
Example sentences
  • Briefly, at a signal, two opponents show each other one of their hands, shaped like a rock, a piece of paper, or a pair of scissors.
  • I needed a pair of scissors to finally cut it open.
  • Unfortunately, with this type of packaging a pair of scissors or a knife is necessary to forcefully remove the contents.
1.1 (also scissor) [as modifier] Denoting an action in which two things cross each other or open and close like the blades of a pair of scissors: as the fish swims the tail lobes open and close in a slight scissor action
More example sentences
  • That's where exercises like the scissor cycle come in.
  • With a burst of summoned energy, Ryo shot his legs in the air, slamming into Leigh's ankles in a scissor movement.
  • The swimmer did a scissors kick with every two arm strokes.
1.2 Rugby A tactical move in which a player running diagonally takes the ball from a teammate and changes the direction of the attack, or feints to do so: a dummy scissors from David Thomas deceived the opposition


Late Middle English: from Old French cisoires, from late Latin cisoria, plural of cisorium 'cutting instrument', from cis-, variant of caes-, stem of caedere 'to cut'. The spelling with sc- (16th century) was by association with the Latin stem sciss- 'cut'.

  • Scissors is from Old French cisoires, from late Latin cisoria, the plural of cisorium ‘cutting instrument’. The prefix cis- here is a variant of caes-, from caedere ‘to cut’, a variant also found in chisel (Late Middle English). The spelling with sc- occurred in the 16th century by association with the Latin sciss- from scinder ‘to cut’.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: scis|sors

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