\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

bread [slang], bucks, cash, change, coin, currency, dough, gold, green, jack [slang], legal tender, lucre, money, pelf, tender, wampum

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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

However, quantum mechanics paved the way for today’s economy with its dependence on computer chips. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Blazing a trail: UW professor's dream leads to breakthrough in identifying origin of cosmic rays," 12 July 2018 Apple has updated its 13-inch and 15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros today with Intel’s latest eighth-generation chips. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Apple’s most expensive MacBook Pro now costs $6,700," 12 July 2018 For the ultra-paranoid, Oasis plans to integrate its software with an open source security chip in development by Berkeley and MIT, similar to the chip that underpins the iPhone’s security, to protect crucial smart contracts against meddling. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "How a Startup Is Using the Blockchain to Protect Your Privacy," 11 July 2018 The resulting three-day plan includes Upton favorites—vegan Caesar salad and mint cacao chip smoothies—alongside pre-, mid-, and post-workout shots. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "5 New Healthy Meal-Delivery Programs, Just In Time for Summer," 11 July 2018 His father worked in landscaping; his mother soldered computer chips. Steve Miletich, The Seattle Times, "‘He’s just a doer’: Meet Seattle police-chief candidate Ely Reyes," 9 July 2018 Punting to next summer also would have opened the possibility that Nurkic walked for nothing, leaving the Blazers without a capable starting center or a quality trade chip to acquire one. Ben Golliver,, "Grades: Blazers Finally Ink Core a Piece in Jusuf Nurkic to Team-Friendly Deal," 7 July 2018 Instead, the ruling may be part of a strategy to push Micron into a partnership with Chinese semiconductor makers, which could speed China's chip-industry development. David Staats And Ian King, idahostatesman, "A Chinese court just retaliated against Boise's Micron. Here's why, and what it means," 5 July 2018 Dave and Andy’s Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Homemade waffle cones and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream that’s more cookie dough than anything else? Ac Shilton, Outside Online, "The Best Ice Cream in the U.S.," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For the third time this year Wisconsin, voters have handed Democrats key wins by margins that could chip away at the confidence Republicans gained from President Donald Trump's victory in the state less than two years ago. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Will Democrats' string of victories shake Republican confidence heading into fall races?," 13 June 2018 Game 2 would've been a 48-minute blowout had Cleveland not stubbornly hung around and chipped away at leads until Steph Curry went supernova in the fourth quarter. Andrew Sharp,, "The Rodney Hood Game and The Strange Joys of the Doomed Cavs," 7 June 2018 New Orleans trailed 10-1 after four innings, but chipped away scoring seven runs over a three inning span from the fifth to seventh inning. Tim Grubbs,, "'Cakes rally comes up short in Las Vegas," 5 June 2018 With those snakebites still fresh, the U of L offense struggled to get on track and struggled to come up with a key hit – any key hit – to chip away until the final innings. Randy Rosetta, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville baseball eliminated from NCAAs with loss to Texas Tech," 3 June 2018 Nonetheless, some countries with broadly liberal laws have increasingly added restrictions that chip away at access to legal procedures; these include the United States and several countries in the former Soviet Bloc or zone of influence. NBC News, "Abortion rates go down when countries make it legal: report," 20 Mar. 2018 Lankov and others also argue that meeting foreigners can help North Koreans learn that Americans are not evil imperialists and amoral beasts, chipping away at the North's internal arguments for its military-first policies. Siobhán O'grady, Washington Post, "Dennis Rodman might go to Singapore. Here’s the story of his friendship with Kim Jong Un.," 6 June 2018 The competition, which began with bathing costumes in Atlantic City in 1920, has struggled to stay relevant in recent decades as women have gained some ground in terms of equality, moving into the workforce and chipping away at the glass ceiling. Cara Kelly, USA TODAY, "Miss America made a welcome change. But let's not pretend pageants are the root of the problem.," 5 June 2018 Republican efforts to chip away at Obamacare have further stoked Democrats’ resolve. Joshua Green,, "The Dems Take Obamacare on the Road," 25 June 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

16 Oct 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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