\ˈchip \
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

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

6a : integrated circuit

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

flake, sliver, spall, splint, splinter

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Examples of chip in a Sentence


The cup has a chip in it. wood chips were spread over the ground between the plants


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

But for the impending nuptials of actor Priyanka Chopra and singer Nick Jonas, let’s just say the welcome gifts were a little fancier than some water and chips. Kim Quindlen, Teen Vogue, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas's Wedding Weekend Welcomed Guests With an Elaborate Gift," 30 Nov. 2018 My drying tools have temperature control chips that monitor the [heat levels]. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "The Best Blowdryers to Invest In, According to the Pros," 27 Nov. 2018 Insert two mini chocolate chips into each ghost for eyes. Redbook Test Kitchen, Redbook, "Marshmallow Ghosts," 19 Sep. 2018 As part of the feature, the duo set about demonstrating a recipe for chocolate chip scones. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, Is All of Us in This Hilarious Throwback Baking Video with Oprah," 28 Aug. 2018 Unlike real estate or blue-chip art, which can rapidly appreciate in value, superyachts tend to depreciate, and most owners lose money on resale. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "What are rich people buying now? Superyachts, apparently.," 8 Nov. 2018 The patrons have been amassing art and antiques for many years, and this house is the perfect receptacle for their blue-chip collection, which ranges from classical sculptures to artworks from the 17th through the 20th centuries. Whitney Robinson, ELLE Decor, "A Maximalist Dream Home Comes to Life In Seville," 5 Sep. 2018 Attract blue-chip funds, such as Baillie Gifford in Scotland or GIC in Singapore, to act as anchor investors. The Economist, "Life as you know it is IPOver," 12 July 2018 The Broncos feature a number of blue-chip prospects including five-star cornerback Akeem Dent, four-star wide receiver Bryan Robinson and University of Miami offensive lineman commit Renato Brown – also a former ThunderWolves standout. Wells Dusenbury,, "Oxbridge Academy standout QB Gio Richardson transfers to Palm Beach Central," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Still, the rare rat case gnaws at the lingering questions of hepatitis E that Meng and other infectious disease trackers have chipped away at for several decades. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Rat hepatitis jumps to human for first time, spotlighting disease mystery," 2 Oct. 2018 Also, consider chipping your Christmas tree instead of tossing it to the curb. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Mulch Your Garden and Stop Weeds in Their Tracks," 26 June 2018 The Eagles saw their big halftime lead chipped into in the third quarter but got going again for the 41-17 win a WesCo 3A crossover gamer. Jayda Evans, The Seattle Times, "Arlington regains focus long enough to knock off Shorewood," 26 Oct. 2018 Once all of the paint has dried, spray your finished pumpkin with a sealant spray to protect the paint from chipping, or washing away in the rain. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "This Is The Best Way To Paint A Pumpkin," 9 Oct. 2018 Wix lost three brackets off his braces and chipped a tooth. Will Kubzansky, The Verge, "The secret life of teen scooter outlaws," 23 Sep. 2018 Polyurethane foam containers resist chipping and cracking and also insulate roots against both hot and cold temperatures, making them a good choice for potting up plants that will stay outside year-round. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Container Gardening," 13 Aug. 2018 North Korea's actions, however, appear to be aimed at chipping away support for that hard-line position. ___ EDITOR'S NOTE — Talmadge is the AP's Pyongyang bureau chief. Eric Talmadge, Fox News, "Analysis: Returning remains good, but easy, move for N.Korea," 27 July 2018 And the flip side to all this chipping away at people power, which is the vast expansion of the rights of the powerful. Maya Singer, Vogue, "Who's Up For Burning It All Down?," 6 Oct. 2018

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

Dictionary Entries near chip





chip away

chip ax


Statistics for chip

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chip

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

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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 \

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 \

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with chip

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chip

Spanish Central: Translation of chip

Nglish: Translation of chip for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chip for Arabic Speakers

Comments on chip

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


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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