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
Recent Examples of anvil from the Web
An election ought to be the time when different approaches to the same questions are hammered out on the anvil of debate and campaigning.
Inexplicably, the anvil became a pumpkin, and the contest of human power evolved into a battle between huge pressurized cannons.
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.
Origin and Etymology of anvil
Middle English anfilt, from Old English; akin to Old High German anafalz anvil; akin to Latin pellere to beat — more at felt
First Known Use: before 12th century
ANVIL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of anvil for English Language Learners
: a heavy iron block on which heated metal is shaped by hitting it with a hammer
ANVIL Defined for Kids
Definition of anvil for Students
: an iron block on which pieces of metal are hammered into shape
Seen and Heard
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