Definition of whittle
: 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
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 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>
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
Examples of whittle
He was sitting on the porch, whittling a stick.
She whittled a walking stick from a maple tree branch.
First Known Use of whittle
Seen and Heard
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