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 ?
Washington has a clear choice: Have a nickel-and-dime war with corporate America, or go head-to-head with other nations by lowering the nation's corporate tax rate in an effort to attract and retain corporations, along with their community involvement, revenues, and taxes.
* Don't nickel-and-dime your customers, like airlines do with separate fees for checked bags, aisle seats and food.
Losses of small tools, whether to carelessness or outright theft, can slowly but surely nickel-and-dime you into a worsened financial position.