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To assess costs or fees in enough small amounts that it adds up to a substantial sum. Between the increases in property tax, sales tax, and income tax, I feel like the government is trying nickel-and-dime us to death. That phone company is nickel-and-diming their customers with all those fees.

nickel-and-dime someone (to death)

Fig. to make numerous small monetary charges that add up to a substantial sum. Those contractors nickel-and-dimed me to death. Just give me the whole bill at one time. Don't nickel-and-dime me for days on end.

nickel and dime

1. If you describe something as nickel and dime, you mean that it is not important or serious, or involves only small amounts of money. Note: A nickel is a five cent coin and a dime is a ten cent coin. I want to keep the campaign on the issues that matter. I'm not interested in that nickel and dime stuff. Some claim the company's nickel-and-dime charges are driving away sellers of inexpensive items. Note: You can also say nickel-dime with the same meaning. It's nickel-dime stuff, though, compared to what you and Michael have to deal with.
2. If someone nickels and dimes someone or something, they harm them by continually taking small amounts of money away from them, or by continually making small changes or requests. Note: A nickel is a five cent coin and a dime is a ten cent coin. The claims aren't huge but there are a lot of them and it all adds up. We're getting nickeled and dimed to death.
See also: and, dime, nickel


involving only a small amount of money; not important: I’m going to make serious money this time. No more no nickel-and-dime stuff for me. ▶ ˌnickel-and-ˈdime verb charge many small fees which add up to a large amount in total: Unlike other companies, we charge a flat fee so we won’t nickel-and-dime you to death.
References in periodicals archive ?
It's easy to get nickel and dimed when you're clueless on the details.
In Nickel and Dimed, I told the story of a $7 an hour associate who could not afford a $7 polo shirt of the kind we were required to wear.
Mirroring her best-selling portrait of life on the minimum wage in the US, Nickel and Dimed, Ehrenreich goes to the other end of town, to see how white collar workers are faring in a corporate jungle overgrown by downsizing, outsourcing and layoffs.
A wise look at that most American of obsessions--making it and getting ahead--from the author of the best-seller Nickel and Dimed.
After casting her lot with the working poor in Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich plunges into another socioeconomic twilight zone: the world of superfluous white-collar workers.
As in Nickel and Dimed, Ehrenreich is in this world but not really of it.
But this is a docu-play called Nickel and Dimed, and these waitresses have no time for idle kibitzing.
Nickel and Dimed, a new play by Joan Holden based on Barbara Ehrenreich's best-selling nonfiction book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, does not stop there in its indictment of the all-American grind.
Nickel and Dimed is at times an ungainly, didactic and strident piece of theatre.
Well, a surprising amount gets done that way all the time, as I saw in my Nickel and Dimed jobs.
When I was working on Nickel and Dimed, one employer--a housecleaning service--administered a test asking whether I was subject to moods of self-pity.
Ever since reading Nickel and Dimed, I have been a devoted fan of Barbara Ehrenreich.
I read her book Nickel and Dimed some months ago, and it so influenced me that I have shared it numerous times with others.
When I was in Scandinavia last spring promoting Nickel and Dimed, interviewers kept asking me to tell them about the "debate" my book had provoked in the United States.
Then, early in July, I got a phone call from Matt Tepper, president of the student body at UNC-CH, inquiring as to what I thought would be a useful way to direct the incoming students' discussions of Nickel and Dimed.