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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 ?
In real life, three decades later, tin men are still plying their trade in cities across the United States, and home equity rip-offs are no longer nickel-and-dime stuff.
After three years of nickel-and-dime operation out of her Burbank garage, Tammy Talbot's rolling the dice and taking her hipster jewelry business, Lucky 11, international.
Kahir Helo - a 365-pound man with lifelong kidney disease and a nickel-and-dime criminal past - routinely rendezvoused with Sycip in supermarket parking lots across the Valley, purchasing 785 of the handguns, federal agents said.
If we give him some nickel-and-dime, penny-ante thing, he's not going to do it.
The movie opens with a bracing, nickel-and-dime (literally) robbery as emaciated teen-age Bobby (Vincent Kartheiser) breaks into a community college and shakes down a couple of vending machines for a weighty bag of coins.
But you can't nickel-and-dime it or you will never be competitive in the Big Sky.
We passed a tax cut for working Californians - not some nickel-and-dime gesture, but a tax cut approaching $1 billion,'' Wilson said in the ceremonies on a small cul-de-sac in this city of 32,000.