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 Small revelations fly like sparks from an anvil; Ms. Gyasi arrives at no clear answers, but the brilliance and tenacity of her inquest provide their own justification. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: Memento Mori," 24 Dec. 2020 The diamond anvil applies almost 300 gigapascals of pressure, which represents roughly 3 million times the ambient air pressure on Earth, for an extraordinarily tiny amount of carbonaceous sulphur hydride. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "In a Monumental First, Scientists Discover a Room-Temperature Superconductor," 15 Oct. 2020 Add too much, and the sample will act too much like metallic hydrogen, metalizing only at pressures that will crack your diamond anvil. Quanta Magazine, "Room-Temperature Superconductivity Achieved for the First Time," 14 Oct. 2020 By squeezing carbon, sulphur, and hydrogen—carbonaceous sulphur hydride—in a diamond anvil, researchers found that compound superconducted all the way up to almost 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "In a Monumental First, Scientists Discover a Room-Temperature Superconductor," 15 Oct. 2020 These were placed in a diamond anvil along with some platinum electrodes to test their conductivity. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "First room-temperature superconductor reported," 14 Oct. 2020 Numerous groups have claimed to make such metallic hydrogen, using diamond anvil cells, palm-size devices in which a target substance gets crushed to enormous pressure between the tips of two diamonds. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "After decades, room temperature superconductivity achieved," 14 Oct. 2020 To come up with their hypothesis, the researchers harnessed intense heat and pressure using high-pressure diamond-anvil cells. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "Alien planets in deep space could be made of diamonds, researchers suggest," 20 Sep. 2020 We all have been forced to reckon with fear of the unknown this year and the swirling ball of change that has landed on us like an anvil in a Tom & Jerry cartoon. Jessica Saggio | Contributing Writer,, "Parents must keep going in the face of uncertainty and change," 14 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for anvil

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

31 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Anvil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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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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Nglish: Translation of anvil for Spanish Speakers

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

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