Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.


(nĭk′əl-ən-dīm′) Informal
1. Involving or paying only a small amount of money: a nickel-and-dime job.
2. Minor; small-time: "a nickel-and-dime operation run out of a single borrowed room" (New York).
v. nick·el-and-dimed, nick·el-and-dim·ing, nick·el-and-dimes or nick·eled-and-dimed or nick·el·ing-and-dim·ing or nick·els-and-dimes
To spend very little money.
1. To drain or destroy bit by bit, especially financially: nickel-and-dimed the project to death.
2. To accumulate in small amounts: "nickel-and-diming a substantial bankroll together" (Newsweek).


small; insignificant; involving small amounts of money
vb (tr)
to wear or bring someone down by small-scale incursions, penalties etc


adj., v. nick•el-and-dimed nick•eled-and-dimed, nick•el-and-dim•ing nick•el•ing-and-dim•ing. Informal. adj.
1. insignificant; trivial; petty.
2. to expose to financial hardship by the accumulation of small expenses.
3. to hinder, annoy, or harass with trivialities or nonessentials.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.nickel-and-dime - spend money frugally; spend as little as possible
expend, spend, drop - pay out; "spend money"
2.nickel-and-dime - accumulate gradually; "she nickeled-and-dimed together a small house for her family"
scrape up, scrape, scratch, come up - gather (money or other resources) together over time; "She had scraped together enough money for college"; "they scratched a meager living"
Adj.1.nickel-and-dime - of minor importance; "a nickel-and-dime operation run out of a single rented room"; "a small-time actor"
unimportant - not important; "a relatively unimportant feature of the system"; "the question seems unimportant"
2.nickel-and-dime - low-paying; "a nickel-and-dime job"
cheap, inexpensive - relatively low in price or charging low prices; "it would have been cheap at twice the price"; "inexpensive family restaurants"


(US inf)
adjbillig; criminal etcklein
vt to nickel-and-dime somebodyjdm sehr kleine (Geld)beträge abknöpfen (inf)
References in periodicals archive ?
We are not trying to nickel-and-dime everybody," said Blatsos.
Never lived in a city where they nickel-and-dime you to death as Los Angeles.
According to Hall, "The foundry will provide good upfront costs on tooling and then nickel-and-dime the customer to death on things such as scrap surcharges to increase revenue.
An even more interesting question, from the viewpoint of the investment house, is whether the passport would be worth the nickel-and-dime nitpicking the Fed requires from the progenitors of bank holding companies.