noun pen·cil \ˈpen(t)-səl\

: an instrument used for writing and drawing that has a hard outer part and a black or colored center part

Full Definition of PENCIL

:  an artist's brush
:  an artist's individual skill or style
a :  an implement for writing, drawing, or marking consisting of or containing a slender cylinder or strip of a solid marking substance
b :  a small medicated or cosmetic roll or stick for local applications
:  a set of geometric objects each pair of which has a common property <the lines in a plane through a point comprise a pencil of lines>
:  something (as a beam of radiation) long and thin like a pencil

Examples of PENCIL

  1. Use a pencil instead of a pen so you can erase your mistakes.

Origin of PENCIL

Middle English pensel, from Anglo-French pincel, from Vulgar Latin *penicellus, alteration of Latin penicillus, diminutive of peniculus brush, from diminutive of penis tail, penis
First Known Use: 14th century



: to draw or write (something) with a pencil

penciled or pencilledpencil·ing or pencil·ling \-s(ə-)liŋ\

Full Definition of PENCIL

transitive verb
:  to paint, draw, write, or mark with a pencil
:  to plan or designate tentatively —used with in <penciled him in as the nominee>

Examples of PENCIL

  1. He penciled some notes on a piece of paper.

First Known Use of PENCIL

circa 1532

Rhymes with PENCIL


noun pen·cil \ˈpen(t)-səl\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of PENCIL

:  a small medicated or cosmetic roll or stick for local applications <a menthol pencil>
:  an aggregate of rays of radiation (as light) especially when diverging from or converging to a point
May 24, 2015
erudite Hear it
learned or pedantic
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