\ 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 On the virtual cooking-in-the-buff demonstration Friday, the dishes created will be chicken piccata and dark chocolate chip cookies. Rod Stafford Hagwood,, "Exactly how can you see ‘Bare Naked Chefs’ ... in person and virtually?," 4 May 2021 President’s Choice, as the line was named, began with a chocolate chip cookie. New York Times, "W. Galen Weston, Who Transformed a Family Food Empire, Dies at 80," 26 Apr. 2021 Celadon also vends wonderful pancake-sized chocolate chip cookies that demand dunking in your coffee. Joanna O'leary, Chron, "Houston's best Vietnamese coffee spots are the cure to summer sluggishness," 5 Apr. 2021 Like the original, this location purveys all of Ahmad's signature sweets: Mah-Ze-Dahr bars, chocolate chip cookies, and those infamously irresistible brioche doughnuts. Katie Chang, Travel + Leisure, "D.C. Is Turning Pink: Here’s Where to Stay, Shop, and Eat During Cherry Blossom Season," 26 Mar. 2021 Abigail Velazquez, a freshman, started a new side hustle during the pandemic by selling chocolate chip cookies, cheesecakes and coffee cakes. Thuc Nhi Nguyen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: Closing the gap at school," 19 Mar. 2021 One of her cures was homemade chocolate chip cookies, an immediate antidote for Hatten and every kid lucky enough to get one. Nanette Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle, "A joyous life lost: One death amid millions exemplifies COVID's toll," 14 Mar. 2021 The whole phenomenon continues to feel absurd and sci-fi, like if only one person on the entire planet knew how to bake chocolate chip cookies. Washington Post, "Album of the year is the Grammy that nobody deserves to win," 12 Mar. 2021 In between posts promoting his recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live and celebrating the upcoming 25th anniversary of Recovering the Satellites, Duritz has peppered his feed with recipes for chewy chocolate chip cookies and gumbo. Brenna Ehrlich, Rolling Stone, "Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz Has Quietly Turned His Instagram Into a Cooking Show," 12 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb So an unequal division of household labor can chip away at a woman’s identity. Serena Coady, Glamour, "The Pandemic’s Done a Number on Our Mental Health. This Free Event Wants to Help Women Recover," 5 May 2021 The Huskies continued to chip away, pulling within five when Bueckers hit a 3-pointer with 1:26 to play. Greg Luca, San Antonio Express-News, "Arizona stuns Connecticut in women's Final Four," 3 Apr. 2021 If all goes well, vaccines could chip away at the long-hauler population on two fronts: preventing long COVID, and perhaps bringing some cases to an end. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, "Long-Haulers Are Pushing the Limits of COVID-19 Vaccines," 25 Mar. 2021 In the meantime, the Black Knights rallied behind Alex King, Josh Caldwell and Tucker Blackwell to chip away at the Knights’ lead before closing the first half with a 40-31 lead. Jonathan Saxon, The Courier-Journal, "Battle of Knights: Bellarmine beats Army 77-67, advances to face Pepperdine in CBI semis," 23 Mar. 2021 While the Tigers did their best to chip into the Bulldogs’ 10-run lead, the Bulldogs kept adding to it over the course of the next eight innings. Giana Han, al, "Weekly Auburn roundup: Track team breaks multiple records," 12 Apr. 2021 All of the issues have surfaced (or resurfaced) as the Supreme Court mulls whether to chip away or take a sledgehammer to the foundation the college athletics industry is built on — not having to pay players for their labor. New York Times, "Champions Crowned, N.C.A.A. Returns to Its Pre-Covid Problems," 6 Apr. 2021 However, Landberg believes that over time, smaller brands with unique points of difference could chip away at that market share and mimic the success craft beer companies experienced over the last two decades. Chris Furnari, Forbes, "Finding White Space Amid Waves Of White Claw," 17 Mar. 2021 Most legal experts don’t expect the court to overturn the law in its entirety, but the conservative majority could chip away at it in ways that create considerable mischief. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: How the $1.9-trillion pandemic relief bill quietly but massively improves Obamacare," 9 Mar. 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

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chip.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 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

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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