\ 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
(2) : french fry
(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 chips The 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 combination cow 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 Their most attractive trade chip was likely 24-year-old center Ivica Zubac. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, "Clippers hope they acquired Playoff Rondo: Five takeaways at the NBA trade deadline," 25 Mar. 2021 Samsung Electronics are getting ahead in cutting-edge chip-making technology. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "TSMC Still Has the Edge Over Intel in Brewing Foundry Fight," 25 Mar. 2021 Intel, which is working to perfect its next-generation 7-nanometer chip, plans to overhaul its manufacturing process and rely more on outsourcing. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Market mania has fed a SPAC boom. Here's who is at risk," 24 Mar. 2021 Intel's plans, announced Tuesday, to spend $20 billion to build new chip-making factories aimed to show that the company, and the US, are serious about regaining global leadership in a crucial technology. Will Knight, Wired, "Intel Wants to Revive US Chipmaking—but It Has to Catch Up First," 24 Mar. 2021 This gives the iPad Air an edge over the 2020 iPad Pro and its A13Z chip. Chris Smith, BGR, "iPad Pro processor leak teases massive performance gains," 24 Mar. 2021 This beautiful berry is opaque in just two coats and stays chip-free for four days. Jennifer Aldrich, Better Homes & Gardens, "The 10 Best Non-Toxic Nail Polishes for Healthy At-Home Manicures," 24 Mar. 2021 Intel’s working hard to streamline and simplify its chip recipe to accelerate its roadmap. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger pledges a return to greatness through chip design," 23 Mar. 2021 Shortly after receiving his 30-day chip, the world shut down. USA Today, "How the pandemic changed lives: In a horrific year of loss, some unexpected joys," 16 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Even a moment as painful as this one is merely starting to chip away at it. Karen Yuan, The Atlantic, "My Asian Parents Still Won’t Talk About the Racism They’ve Faced," 25 Mar. 2021 On a recent sunny March day, grounds crews used rakes and hammers to chip away at the ice at Polar Park., "Worcester’s new stadium a polar opposite of Fenway Park," 22 Mar. 2021 Now, Sherman and Peterson have been two of the best CBs in the NFL for the last decade, but as Father Time continues to chip away at them, a switch to safety could be beneficial for both players’ careers. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: Predicting three players the Dallas Cowboys will sign in free agency," 15 Mar. 2021 Workers then had to chip away the concrete that covered the walls of the nearly 17,000-square-foot church bit by bit, in tiny sections to avoid damaging what might be below. DÁnica Coto, Star Tribune, "Puerto Rico to reopen historic church after long restoration," 12 Mar. 2021 Badin trailed by as many as 13 in the fourth quarter, but Pohlen scored 12 of her 14 points in the second half to chip away at the Patriots' advantage. Shelby Dermer, The Enquirer, "Girls high school basketball: Badin falls to Carroll in Division II regional final, 45-41," 6 Mar. 2021 Seton Hall worked to chip away at UConn’s lead for the remaining moments of the game, but the Huskies always had an answer, and never led by less than seven in the final seven minutes. Shawn Mcfarland,, "Big second half propels UConn past Seton Hall, 69-58, for key NCAA-tournament resume win," 3 Mar. 2021 But a stimulus check would be the only certainty in the middle of chaos, her only means to chip away at the spiraling costs for Isabell's medical expenses and other bills. USA Today, "Surgery for a child, car loan, electric bills: We asked Americans how they’d spend $1,400 stimulus checks, and this is what they told us," 25 Feb. 2021 Brock remains hopeful that future research into new particle formation will help to chip away at the uncertainty in climate sensitivity. Quanta Magazine, "Cloud-Making Aerosol Could Devastate Polar Sea Ice," 23 Feb. 2021

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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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

3 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chip.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for chip



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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More from Merriam-Webster on chip

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chip

Nglish: Translation of chip for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chip for Arabic Speakers

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