Definition of forceps in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfôrsəps/
Pronunciation: /ˈfôrˌseps/
(also a pair of forceps)

plural noun

Image of forceps
1A pair of pincers or tweezers used in surgery or in a laboratory.
Example sentences
  • ‘The tools we use in making these pictures are very simple - just a pair of forceps, scissors and some glue,’ Liu said.
  • The upper epidermal layer from the inner surface of the tissue was excised carefully using a pair of forceps and placed immediately into de-ionized water.
  • Thus, these roots were manually peeled - the peripheral root tissues were carefully picked using a pair of forceps, and then pulled to separate the endodermis covering the stele.
1.1A large instrument with broad pincers, used to encircle a baby’s head and assist in birth: [as modifier]: a forceps delivery
More example sentences
  • Yet, the comparative rate of intracranial hemorrhage is not statistically different when vacuum extraction, forceps delivery and cesarean section during labor are compared.
  • Assisted vaginal delivery comprised both forceps deliveries and vacuum extraction.
  • Here we review the role of forceps delivery in modern obstetric practice.
1.2 Zoology An organ or structure resembling forceps, especially the cerci of an earwig.
Example sentences
  • Several tales exist concerning alleged damage of earwigs: how they like to crawl into ears or how the forceps cause a painful pinch.
  • He published papers illustrating discontinuous variation in floral symmetry and in terminal forceps of earwigs and the hornlike processes seen in certain male beetles.


Late 16th century: from Latin, 'tongs, pincers'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: for·ceps

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