If you’re going to be doing a lot of woodworking, you’ll probably need a vise, a tool used to clamp pieces of wood in place while you work on them.

The word vise came into English through the French word vis, meaning “screw.” Picture yourself winding a lever that screws the jaws of a vise shut, and you’ll understand what it’s like to operate a vise. Remember to spell the word with an s, as not to confuse it with sound-alike vice, which can refer to a destructive habit that you’d like to break. The two words are unrelated in meaning.

Definitions of vise
  1. noun
    a holding device attached to a workbench; has two jaws to hold workpiece firmly in place
    synonyms: bench vise
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    machinist's vise, metalworking vise
    a vise with two parallel iron jaws and a wide opening below
    shoulder vise, wood vise, woodworking vise
    a vise with jaws that are padded in order to hold lumber without denting it
    type of:
    holding device
    a device for holding something
  2. noun
    something likened to a tool that clamps or holds tightly
Word Family