Definition of nickel-and-dime in English:

nickel-and-dime

verb

[WITH OBJECT]North American
informal
  • Put a financial strain on (someone) by charging small amounts for many minor services.

    ‘we don't nickel-and-dime our customers like some vendors that charge extra for every little utility’
    • ‘When Cognizant gives you a price, they don't come back and nickel-and-dime you.’
    • ‘It's an instance of consumers being nickel-and-dimed to death.’
    • ‘The approach is novel - and welcome at a time when most airlines are finding ways to nickel-and-dime fliers to death with countless fees.’
    • ‘Nothing can spoil a vacation faster than feeling like you're being nickel-and-dimed at every turn: a few bucks for the bellhop here, $20 for lunch there, $7 for a tropical drink, $25 for a two-hour kayak rental… and so on.’
    • ‘You know, it's - I think it's always dangerous when you get nickel-and-dimed for things you used to get for free.’
    • ‘Some added charges seemed arbitrary and left me feeling nickel-and-dimed.’
    • ‘My one big concern about Schwab was that they were just nickel-and-diming people to death.’
    • ‘Companies, hard-pressed for money, are taking every possible opportunity to nickel-and-dime people to death.’
    • ‘‘You don't get nickel-and-dimed to death, and when you install an appliance, you're done,’ he says.’
    • ‘If it does, corporations might back off from nickel-and-diming those they are supposed to serve.’
    • ‘Because when you nickel-and-dime a global audience for enhanced experiences that start off freely given and are augmented through increments, you're looking at serious money being generated.’
    • ‘‘It is a small victory,’ says Hayes, who suggests that HRDC is simply nickel-and-diming recipients struggling to make ends meet in an expensive city like Toronto.’
    • ‘And, as one Pentagon official here said, nobody here wanted to nickel-and-dime the troops that are putting their lives on the line.’
    • ‘Mobile-phone companies have inherited this arrogance, building their business models around nickel-and-diming customers.’
    • ‘He added that ‘you will get nickel-and-dimed if you list free works with eBay.’’
    • ‘They will let you nickel-and-dime them to death.’
    • ‘She's also careful not to nickel-and-dime clients for extra charges.’
    • ‘US phone customers are already nickel-and-dimed by a long list of surcharges and tariffs, and the Bill as it stands ensures that cash-strapped States and Districts don't dip into this new source for additional revenue.’
    • ‘And speaking of paying for premium service: it is strange but true that the more you pay for a hotel room, the more likely you are to be nickel-and-dimed to death once you're inside.’
    • ‘If companies charge extra for specialized modules, they get accused of nickel-and-diming the customer.’

adjective

North American
informal
  • [attributive] Of little importance; petty.

    ‘the only games this weekend are nickel-and-dime stuff’
    • ‘But Schneider, reminding this Judge of a younger, pudgier, Southern-fried Kevin Costner, holds up his end in the more central and screentime-intensive role of the nickel-and-dime Lothario who finally meets his match.’
    • ‘Making loud noises about nickel-and-dime cuts in small domestic programs is not a fiscal policy.’
    • ‘Charging for seats with padded armrests or for reclining seats are among other nickel-and-dime possibilities, according to The Post.’
    • ‘In the last few years, any nickel-and-dime protest outfit could make a name for itself by getting pepper sprayed on television.’
    • ‘Plugging those nickel-and-dime leaks was Accruent's original mission.’
    • ‘Ideally, a couple will have fallen into a pattern not so much of nickel-and-dime quid pro quo, but rather, a more natural exchange of, let's say, in-kind donations.’
    • ‘Desorcy, a nickel-and-dime operator, hesitated due to the large amount.’
    • ‘There are a few class acts, but in general the skateboard industry is still a pretty nickel-and-dime affair.’
    • ‘But talk is cheap and getting cheaper by the day, judging by the nickel-and-dime treatment the troops are getting lately.’
    • ‘We were the nickel-and-dime gritty-city crew; never had I felt so much a part of Part II of John Edwards's ‘two Americas’ as I did that afternoon - the poor, wet, huddled part.’
    • ‘Circling this orgy of nickel-and-dime excess were overhead murals that vaguely recalled the great outdoors with modernist visions of birds flying over mountaintops.’
    • ‘The welfare class makes a pittance with nickel-and-dime scams that get them scorned and arrested.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If you want to spend your life chasing nickel-and-dime papers, you go right ahead.’
    • ‘The old-line NFL people called it a nickel-and-dime offense.’
    • ‘SoBe's owners became so upset by Coke's nickel-and-dime demands that they walked out and quickly cut a deal with Pepsi.’
    • ‘The point is, when you have these nickel-and-dime hikes, it's not going to work very much.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But often the real pleasure of this genre is in the little cons, the microcosmic nickel-and-dime swindles scattered around in the first reel.’
    minute, small-scale, scaled-down, mini, baby, toy, pocket, fun-size, petite, dwarfish, knee-high, miniature, minuscule, microscopic, nanoscopic, infinitesimal, micro, diminutive, pocket-sized, reduced, lilliputian
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 19th century: originally designating a store selling articles costing five or ten cents.

Pronunciation:

nickel-and-dime

/ˌnikəl ən ˈdīm/