One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
treated as singular or plural A pair of eyeglasses with a nose clip instead of earpieces.
- ‘Major Baring took off his gold pince-nez and looked at me.’
- ‘The woman looks barely older than a sixth-former, with her hair styled sharply over to one side and a pair of pince-nez perched on her nose.’
- ‘Under a brow of average height, two grey-blue eyes looked out at me, behind glittering pince-nez, with an air of peaceful interrogation.’
- ‘Carol squinted at the source of the voice, but could only see a pair of pince-nez glasses.’
- ‘She adjusts the pince-nez on her nose and sighs.’
- ‘Gideon is slender, rather unpleasant looking man, with light brown hair, wearing a light red suit and a golden pince-nez.’
- ‘A forceful orator and an advocate of the strenuous life, Roosevelt with his bushy mustache, pince-nez, and wide, toothy grin was a caricaturist's delight.’
- ‘It's the brunette with the pince-nez from earlier on.’
- ‘Incorporated into its elaborate frame are two miniature pairs of binoculars, a pince-nez and a bulbous, Cyclopean glass eye.’
- ‘Her dark hair was tied tightly back in a pony-tail and she met my gaze through entirely cosmetic pince-nez.’
- ‘The latter's 1919 portrait of Koch, in a late expressionistic manner, shows the sitter in his role as writer or poet, complete with pince-nez, stiff collar and dark suit.’
- ‘People were wearing, not just pince-nez, but monocles.’
- ‘For her part, Eliss found Ciaran dusty and hidebound, carrying as he did a clipboard, a stylus and a pair of pince-nez on a steel chain.’
- ‘Large blue eyes are watching me from behind a pair of pince-nez.’
- ‘He lowered the pince-nez which attached itself precariously to the end of his flattened nose.’
- ‘Most designers featured in the exhibition have chosen to play with the image of their master himself, with his long trunk and short legs, the characteristic derby hat and pince-nez glasses.’
- ‘I see Kestrel's body fly backwards, her face stunned and confused, the pince-nez flying off and upwards.’
- ‘Kipling had hoped that pince-nez would get him through, but only the imperial poet's influence got his son a commission.’
- ‘Later she would learn the joys of a good read, but the Essex accent and hairdo still single her out from the pince-nez and halitosis crowd that used to dominate publishing.’
- ‘The singularity of his appearance was further emphasized by a pince-nez held in place by two black cords tied at the back of his head.’
Late 19th century: from French, literally ‘(that) pinches (the) nose’.
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