\ ˈchip How to pronounce chip (audio) \
plural chips

Definition of chip

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a small usually thin and flat piece (as of wood or stone) cut, struck, or flaked off
b : a small piece of food: such as
(1) : a small, thin, crisp, usually salty piece of food typically prepared by frying, baking, or drying banana chips especially : potato chip — see also corn chip
(3) : a small often cone-shaped bit of food often used for baking chocolate chips
c : a small card displaying a paint color or a range of paint colors available for purchase fabric swatches and paint chips
2 : something small, worthless, or trivial
3a : one of the counters used as a token for money in poker and other games
b chips plural : money used especially in the phrase in the chipsThe beginning was always characterized by careless haste in the expectation of landing in the chips,…— William Kittredge
c : something valuable that can be used for advantage in negotiation or trade a bargaining chip
4 : a piece of dried dung usually used in combinationcow chip
5 : a flaw left after a chip has been broken off
b : a small wafer of semiconductor material that forms the base for an integrated circuit
8 : microarray DNA chips
chip off the old block
: a child that resembles his or her parent
chip on one's shoulder
: a challenging or belligerent attitude


chipped; chipping

Definition of chip (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to cut or hew with an edged tool
b(1) : to cut or break (a small piece) from something
(2) : to cut or break a fragment from chip a tooth
(3) : to cut into chips chip a tree stump
2 British : chaff, banter
3 : to hit (a return in tennis) with backspin

intransitive verb

1 : to break off in small pieces
2 : to play a chip shot

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Synonyms for chip

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of chip in a Sentence

Noun The cup has a chip in it. wood chips were spread over the ground between the plants Verb I bit into something hard and chipped my tooth. He fell and chipped a bone in his knee. The paint had chipped off. He chipped away the ice from the car's windshield. The sculptor chipped away bits of stone. The golfer chipped the ball onto the green. She chipped the soccer ball over the goalie's head. He chipped a pass to his teammate. The golfer chipped onto the green.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Incremental performance improvements add up Apple’s latest chip — the A14 Bionic — is seriously powerful with a six-core CPU, four-core GPU and a Neural Engine. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "The iPhone 12 Pro future-proofs with 5G and impressive photography chops," 20 Oct. 2020 And that brings us to the ultimate bargaining chip: the future itself. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, "We’re well into the bargaining stage of this election. And some tough deals among families are being made.," 19 Oct. 2020 Despite the drop in price, the Flex phones still come equipped with Apple’s W1 chip inside, which makes for easy pairing and takes advantage of other AirPod features like audio sharing. Popular Science, "The Beats Flex wireless headphones offer some AirPod functionality for just $50," 17 Oct. 2020 The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro promise a more powerful processing chip, tougher, hard-to-break glass and connectivity to the new 5G wireless networks. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Apple's iPhone 12 Pro harder to get," 16 Oct. 2020 Although the desktop Ryzen 7 1800X was a 1000-series chip, the laptop version, which uses the same process and Zen architecture, was designated as a 2000-series CPU. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Why AMD calls it Ryzen 5000 instead of Ryzen 4000," 14 Oct. 2020 As usual, the new iPhone comes with a new Apple chip, the A14 Bionic, which debuted on the new iPad Air. Samuel Axon And Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Apple announces new iPhone 12 family with 5G and MagSafe," 13 Oct. 2020 Key objectives for the Road Department next year include improving 30 miles of road using asphalt overlay and chip-and-seal and improving 6.6 miles using fog seal, according to documents. Mike Jones, Arkansas Online, "Benton County budget talks continue," 9 Oct. 2020 The Windows Task Manager shows that the Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 browser is using more than 60 % of my processor time and RAM (computer chip) memory capacity. Steve Alexander, Star Tribune, "Tech tricks to keep using Windows 7 are risky," 20 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Instead, the justices tend to chip away at them over time. Paul M. Collins, The Conversation, "How conservative groups will advance their agendas before a Supreme Court with Amy Coney Barrett," 19 Oct. 2020 However, the Braves hitters will eventually chip away at the Dodgers bullpen to make things interesting. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "NLCS Game 7 predictions: Will Dodgers complete the comeback vs. Braves?," 18 Oct. 2020 Gardner touted his sponsorship of the Great American Outdoors Act, which seeks to chip away at a $20 billion maintenance backlog on federal public lands, several times throughout the debate. Derek Draplin, Washington Examiner, "Gardner and Hickenlooper face off in third debate for Colorado U.S. Senate seat," 12 Oct. 2020 Mesquite's next scoring play was Thompson throwing his second TD pass of the game to Lira for 45 yards and making their first 2-point conversion to chip the margin down, 33-26 with 8:10 left. Dana Scott, The Arizona Republic, "Sunrise Mountain survives Mesquite's huge second half comeback at home," 9 Oct. 2020 In recent weeks professors at top-tier law schools have published articles advocating for jurisdiction stripping or other reforms that would chip away at the court’s power rather than simply alter its ideological makeup. David Yaffe-bellany,, "Liberals Weigh Jurisdiction Stripping to Rein in Supreme Court," 6 Oct. 2020 Some people chip away for a lifetime, only to accumulate a pile of flakes. William A. Haseltine, Scientific American, "Lessons from AIDS for the COVID-19 Pandemic," 1 Oct. 2020 Gigantic pink eyeballs spawning butterflies that chip away at your health? Louryn Strampe, Wired, "In Hades, the Underworld Is Your Playground," 28 Sep. 2020 Some said that whatever drove the most recent confusion, the episode may further chip away public confidence in the CDC. Arkansas Online, "CDC changes, then retracts, its take on coronavirus spread," 21 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chip.' 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 chip


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for chip


Middle English; akin to Old English -cippian


Middle English chippen, from Old English -cippian (as in forcippian to cut off); akin to Old English cipp beam, Old High German chipfa stave

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Learn More about chip

Time Traveler for chip

Time Traveler

The first known use of chip was in the 14th century

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Statistics for chip

Last Updated

23 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chip.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for chip


How to pronounce chip (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of chip

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small piece that has been broken off from something larger
: a place where a small piece of something has broken off
: a small piece of candy or chocolate used in baking



English Language Learners Definition of chip (Entry 2 of 2)

: to break off a small piece from (something)
: to break or come off in small pieces
: to break off (something) especially with a tool


\ ˈchip How to pronounce chip (audio) \

Kids Definition of chip

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small piece cut or broken off wood chips a chip of glass
2 : a thin crisp piece of food and especially potato tortilla chips
3 : a small bit of candy used in baking chocolate chips
4 : a flaw left after a small piece has been broken off There's a chip in the rim of that cup.
6 : a small slice of silicon containing a number of electronic circuits (as for a computer)


chipped; chipping

Kids Definition of chip (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to cut or break a small piece from I fell and chipped my tooth.
2 : to break off in small pieces We chipped the ice from the windshield.


\ ˈchip How to pronounce chip (audio) \

Medical Definition of chip

: microarray When exposed to a sample of unknown DNA, the probes on the chip bind to their complementary strands, thereby reading the sequences in the sample.— Jeff Wheelwright, Discover, April 2002

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