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A long-handled squeegee being used to clean graffiti off a train on the Cologne S-Bahn
A squeegeeman using a squeegee in traffic
The Kindling squeegee


Probably from squeege, an intensified form of squeeze. Compare earlier squill-gee, squillgee.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈskwiːd͡ʒiː/, /skwiːˈd͡ʒiː/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈskwiˌd͡ʒi/
  • Rhymes: -iːd͡ʒi


squeegee (plural squeegees)

  1. A tool consisting of a rubber or similar blade attached at a right angle to a handle, particularly
    1. (nautical) A long-handled tool used on ships for swabbing the decks and spreading protective coatings. [1844]
      • 1844, Matilda Charlotte Fraser Houstoun, Texas & the Gulf of Mexico, volume I, page 39:
        Holy-stoning the decks... is the worst description of nervous torture of which I ever heard, excepting perhaps, the infliction of the squee gee.
    2. Similar long-handled tools used for drying or leveling surfaces such as paths and roadways. [1884]
    3. A short-handled tool, especially as used on car windshields and home windows. [1918]
  2. A roller used to similar effect, particularly
    1. (photography) A tool used to remove excess moisture from a print. [1878]
    2. (historical) A street-cleaning machine consisting of a roller made of squeegee blades pulled by a horse.
    3. (printing) A tool used to force the ink through the stencil in silk-screen printing.
  3. (slang) A person who uses a squeegee, especially one who "cleans" the windshield of a car stopped at a traffic light and then demands payment. [1991]

Derived terms[edit]



squeegee (third-person singular simple present squeegees, present participle squeegeeing, simple past and past participle squeegeed)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To use a squeegee. [1883]
    • 1883, J.T. Taylor, Hardwich's Manual of Photographic Chemistry, 9th edition, page 347:
      It is then ‘squeegeed’ down on the glass and developed.
    • 1885, Charles George Warnford Lock, Workshop Receipts, 4th Ser., p. 411:
      ...a piece of American cloth to protect the print while squeegeeing...
    • 1886 September 4, All Year Round, page 104:
      The decks were persistently holystoned, scrubbed, ‘squeegéed’, and swabbed.

Usage notes[edit]

Sometimes used with prepositions such as out, down, together, &c.