an·​vil | \ ˈan-vəl How to pronounce anvil (audio) \

Definition of anvil

1 : a heavy usually steel-faced iron block on which metal is shaped (as by hand hammering)
2 : incus
3 : the anvil–shaped top of a cumulonimbus

Illustration of anvil

Illustration of anvil

anvil 1

Examples of anvil in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Upon entering town, the unmistakable sound of the anvil’s ring will be coming from the blacksmith’s shop., "Community News For The Hebron Edition," 13 Sep. 2019 That's also evident in the shape of the clouds: notice the downwind anvil is already there while a new plume immediately goes over the volcano. Matthew Cappucci, Anchorage Daily News, "This North Pacific volcano just erupted after nearly a century of silence. Astronauts captured the breathtaking scene.," 27 June 2019 With 7:36 remaining in UConn’s penultimate game of the 2018-19 regular season March 7 against Temple at Gampel Pavilion, Aflakpui’s hand inadvertently came down on Gilbert’s face like an anvil. Mike Anthony,, "Mike Anthony: Alterique Gilbert is deserving of a 2019-20 season without complications," 4 July 2019 There’s bluegrass music, bell-ringing, rail-splitting, and dulcimer-making, but the highlight is seeing (and hearing) 100-pound iron anvils jettisoned into the air by exploding gunpowder. National Geographic, "Here’s where to spend an unforgettable 4th of July," 1 July 2019 The mishmash of government rules here amounts to an anvil on program effectiveness, which has prompted companies to take charge of training programs. Dallas Morning News, Twin Cities, "Other voices: Trump plan to expand apprenticeships is timely, intriguing," 30 June 2019 This suggests they were used mainly on seeds (possibly from cassava) smaller than the cashews which today’s monkeys pound, meaning hammerstone and anvil often came into contact with one another. The Economist, "Capuchin monkeys have been using stone tools for around 3,000 years," 27 June 2019 On the other side of the globe, in the Brazilian Amazon, palm nuts are smashed hammer-and-anvil style by capuchins — clever monkeys boasting the largest brain-to-body size ratio of any primate besides humans. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "A Primer to Our Planet of Monkeys," 12 June 2019 Meaning what? Meaning an anvil drops — Klonk! — on somebody’s unsuspecting noggin. Soren Andersen, The Seattle Times, "‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’: Pure fun flies by in ‘zip-zap-zop’ fashion," 10 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anvil.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of anvil

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for anvil

Middle English anfilt, from Old English; akin to Old High German anafalz anvil; akin to Latin pellere to beat — more at felt

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Statistics for anvil

Last Updated

21 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for anvil

The first known use of anvil was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for anvil


How to pronounce anvil (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of anvil

: a heavy iron block on which heated metal is shaped by hitting it with a hammer


an·​vil | \ ˈan-vəl How to pronounce anvil (audio) \

Kids Definition of anvil

: an iron block on which pieces of metal are hammered into shape


an·​vil | \ ˈan-vəl How to pronounce anvil (audio) \

Medical Definition of anvil

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More from Merriam-Webster on anvil

Spanish Central: Translation of anvil

Nglish: Translation of anvil for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of anvil for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about anvil

Comments on anvil

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


not being in agreement or harmony

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