whittle


1whit·tle

noun \ˈhwi-təl, ˈwi-\

Definition of WHITTLE

archaic
:  a large knife

Origin of WHITTLE

Middle English whittel, alteration of thwitel, from thwiten to whittle, from Old English thwītan; akin to Old Norse thveita to hew
First Known Use: 15th century

2whittle

verb

: to cut or shape (a piece of wood) by cutting small pieces from it : to make or shape (something) from a piece of wood by cutting small pieces from it

whit·tledwhit·tling \ˈhwit-liŋ, ˈwit-; ˈhwi-təl-iŋ, ˈwi-\

Full Definition of WHITTLE

transitive verb
1
a :  to pare or cut off chips from the surface of (wood) with a knife
b :  to shape or form by so paring or cutting
2
:  to reduce, remove, or destroy gradually as if by cutting off bits with a knife :  pare <whittle down expenses>
intransitive verb
1
:  to cut or shape something (as wood) by or as if by paring it with a knife
2
:  to wear oneself or another out with fretting
whit·tler \ˈhwit-lər, ˈwit-; ˈhwi-təl-ər, ˈwi-\ noun

Examples of WHITTLE

  1. He was sitting on the porch, whittling a stick.
  2. She whittled a walking stick from a maple tree branch.

First Known Use of WHITTLE

1552

Rhymes with WHITTLE

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: whittling
Previous Word in the Dictionary: whittie–whattie
All Words Near: whittle

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up whittle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).