\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for chip

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Look out for sliders, flatbreads and shareables such as cheese curds, hush puppies, fish and chips, and chipotle crab wontons. Grace Wong,, "South Asian pop-up Wazwan lands permanent home at Politan Row, plus more Chicago restaurant openings," 20 Nov. 2019 Harris English holed a chip-and-run from off the 18th green for birdie and a 7-under-par 64, giving him a one-shot 36-hole lead at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. John Farinacci,, "Men’s college hockey," 17 Nov. 2019 Babies and toddlers have increased risk, and can be poisoned by paint chips and dust picked up from the floor. Meredith Cohn,, "Court orders Kennedy Krieger to pay woman harmed in 1990s-era lead paint study," 14 Nov. 2019 On rimmed baking sheet, toss chips and half of cheese. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "BBQ Beef Nachos," 12 Nov. 2019 The attendees will be able to enjoy an all-you-can-eat breakfast that will include pancakes of many flavors, such as regular, chocolate chip and blueberry. Sharina Taveras Lopez,, "South Carroll: Kiwanis Club hosting Pancake Breakfast; ‘Nutcracker Princess’ coming to Eldersburg library," 12 Nov. 2019 Squealers Barbeque Grill: Free pulled pork sandwich platter with chips and choice of barbecue beans, coleslaw or potato salad. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Here are more than 150 Veterans Day deals for the Nov. 11 holiday," 11 Nov. 2019 Expect allergen-free dishes and gluten-free fish & chips as well as keto and paleo menu options. Michael Russell, oregonlive, "One of Portland’s best oyster bars is opening a seafood market, restaurant," 8 Nov. 2019 So far, nearly 600 benchmarks have been submitted to the project from cloud providers, system OEMs, chip and software vendors, and universities. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Meet MLPerf, a benchmark for measuring machine-learning performance," 7 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The question, though clear and direct, is anything but simple: How do the Padres begin to chip away at closing the win-loss gap with the Dodgers? San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Large gap between Padres, Dodgers more complex than pocketbooks," 27 Sep. 2019 The protests were set off by extradition legislation that would have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China to face trial and expanded to general concerns that China is chipping away at the rights of Hong Kong residents. Ken Moritsugu,, "Hong Kong democracy activists arrested, Saturday protest march banned," 30 Aug. 2019 The protests were set off by extradition legislation that would have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China to face trial and expanded to general concerns that China is chipping away at the rights of Hong Kong residents. Ken Moritsugu, Anchorage Daily News, "Hong Kong democracy activists arrested, anniversary protest march banned," 30 Aug. 2019 First, cocktails and wine grew more accessible, chipping away at beer’s market share. Amanda Chicago Lewis, The Verge, "Big Alcohol is pouring," 30 July 2019 But critics of the unelected government say Beijing is steadily chipping away their freedoms and reneging on its promise of universal suffrage. Time, "Hong Kong Protesters Demand Police Accountability, Full Withdrawal of Extradition Bill," 21 July 2019 Without the trade-shielding commerce clause, states immediately began chipping away at the union the Constitution created after the protectionism-enabling Articles of Confederation failed. Ilya Shapiro, National Review, "Congress Needs to Settle the Looming Cannabis-Regulation Fight," 10 July 2019 Demolition of the wall began as people began chipping away at it, claiming souvenirs and even creating holes big enough for new unofficial border crossings in some places., "World Cup Countdown: 7 Weeks to Go - West Germany Win Italia '90 Against a Backdrop of Reunification," 6 May 2018 In proximity, the two words begin to chip away at each other’s meaning. Longreads, "Captive Audience," 1 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about chip

Time Traveler for chip

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for chip

Last Updated

27 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Chip.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 5 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on chip

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chip

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


to accept, comply, or submit

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!