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1

whittle

play
noun whit·tle \ˈhwi-təl, ˈwi-\

Definition of whittle

archaic

  1. :  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


2

whittle

verb whit·tle

Simple Definition of whittle

  • : 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

Full Definition of whittle

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

  1. transitive verb
  2. 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

  3. 2 :  to reduce, remove, or destroy gradually as if by cutting off bits with a knife :  pare <whittle down expenses>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. 1 :  to cut or shape something (as wood) by or as if by paring it with a knife

  6. 2 :  to wear oneself or another out with fretting

whit·tler play \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.



1552

First Known Use of whittle

1552



WHITTLE Defined for Kids

whittle

play
verb whit·tle \ˈhwi-təl, ˈwi-\

Definition of whittle

whit·tledwhit·tling

  1. 1 :  to cut or shave off chips from wood :  shape by cutting or shaving off chips from wood

  2. 2 :  to reduce little by little <They are trying to whittle down their spending.>




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of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

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