Definition of forceps in English:


(also a pair of forceps)

plural noun

  • 1A pair of pincers or tweezers used in surgery or in a laboratory.

    • ‘Other essential pieces of equipment will include a pair of forceps, pliers, a decent torch, a towel and a good sense of humour!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Greek surgeons used various types of knives, syringes and forceps as surgical tools.’
    • ‘The second exercise involved removing tissue down to the fascial plane, using scissors, scalpel, and forceps as necessary.’
    • ‘With a pair of forceps, he lifted what looked like a squirming worm out of the jar.’
    • ‘Each pair of forceps is given a polish finish that is absolutely corrosion resistant.’
    • ‘For general dissection, two pairs of forceps are required, a pointed pair for finer work, a blunt pair for heavy work.’
    • ‘With a pair of forceps gently transfer the graft to another medium-sized petri dish containing hydra medium.’
    • ‘Such a pair of forceps is handled just like conventional straight pairs of forceps and requires no change of handling.’
    • ‘In brief sperm is obtained from the males by gently squeezing their testis with a pair of forceps.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Titanium forceps also offer durability, which extends the working life of the instrument.’
    • ‘Pick the adults with a pair of forceps and drop them into 70% alcohol contained in a tube.’
    • ‘‘The tools we use in making these pictures are very simple - just a pair of forceps, scissors and some glue,’ Liu said.’
    • ‘She gave him the injection and pulled out a pair of forceps.’
    • ‘Research has found the safest way to remove the little bloodsuckers is to grip them as close to their head as possible - preferably using tweezers or forceps at your skin level.’
    • ‘Carefully, he opened the incision with a pair of forceps, revealing her skin's thick red underlining.’
    • ‘Use the other pair of forceps to pinch a bit of abdominal cuticle and pull, revealing the pair of white opaque ovaries.’
    • ‘The temperature of each pair of forceps can be set individually by an easy-to-read keypad.’
    • ‘This was in spite of great care being taken by very gently holding the specimen with very fine pair of forceps during removal.’
    1. 1.1 A large pair of forceps with broad gripping parts, used to encircle a baby's head and assist in birth.
      as modifier ‘a forceps delivery’
      • ‘Here we review the role of forceps delivery in modern obstetric practice.’
      • ‘The rate of forceps delivery was 12 percent with epidural compared with 3 percent with intravenous meperidine.’
      • ‘Episiotomy was invented to facilitate forceps deliveries and has continued mainly out of habit not necessity.’
      • ‘When he was born, the doctor used a pair of forceps to remove him from his mother.’
      • ‘It is mandatory to avoid excessive traction on the foetal head during a forceps delivery;’
      • ‘The baby may have a mark on either side of his head, or even bruising, where the forceps have been.’
      • ‘The greatest change was associated with forceps delivery.’
      • ‘Also, I didn't want to come out, and was delivered with the aid of a pair of forceps.’
      • ‘Yet, the comparative rate of intracranial hemorrhage is not statistically different when vacuum extraction, forceps delivery and cesarean section during labor are compared.’
      • ‘Finally, on the fifth day, I put my head out and there was a doctor with a large pair of forceps, which he slapped around my head, and pulled me out.’
      • ‘Research has also shown that women planning to give birth at home were less likely to have a Caesarean, or forceps delivery, even if they had to later transfer to hospital.’
      • ‘I went with him to his clinic and there found on the operating table a lady whom they had tried, unsuccessfully, to deliver with forceps without anaesthesia.’
      • ‘When she was born, weighing 4lbs 9oz, she had a mark on her forehead but Katherine was told that it was due to the forceps used during the birth and told not to worry.’
      • ‘A doctor told the court she did not want to waste time and had planned to carry out a Caesarean if the forceps delivery did not work.’
      • ‘In addition, forceps delivery was not the preferred method of many male surgeons or men-midwives in eighteenth-century Britain.’
      • ‘If instruments are needed for the delivery, a vacuum extractor is less likely to lead to an episiotomy than are forceps.’
      • ‘Assisted vaginal delivery comprised both forceps deliveries and vacuum extraction.’
      • ‘When the doctor comes he tells him that there are two options: a forceps birth or Caesarian.’
      • ‘Births are routinely induced and some would say that Caesareans or forceps delivery are unnecessarily common.’
      • ‘The research also called for better obstetric standards when using forceps and vacuums during deliveries.’
    2. 1.2Zoology An organ or structure resembling forceps, especially the cerci of an earwig.
      • ‘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’.