noun \ˈhwi-təl, ˈwi-\

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



: 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
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
:  to reduce, remove, or destroy gradually as if by cutting off bits with a knife :  pare <whittle down expenses>
intransitive verb
:  to cut or shape something (as wood) by or as if by paring it with a knife
:  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


Rhymes with WHITTLE


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).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More