\ 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In addition, the chip maker failed to make a profit during the period and instead posted a $500 million loss. Michael Kan, PCMAG, 28 July 2022 He who faced a family crisis that interfered with his career plans, leaving him with a chip on his shoulder and much to prove. Ej Panaligan, Variety, 27 July 2022 As the Ukraine war ratcheted up political tensions between the US and Russia, the head of Russia's Roscosmos space agency tried to use the countries' partnership in the International Space Station (ISS) as a bargaining chip. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 26 July 2022 His value as a trade chip is interesting on a number of levels. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, 15 July 2022 Russian news media have proposed using Griner as a bargaining chip, perhaps swapping her for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is serving a 25-year sentence in the United States. Grayson Quay, The Week, 6 July 2022 And basic cable has always had a chip on its shoulder, right? Lacey Rose, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 June 2022 The largest previous deal involving a chip-maker was AMD Inc.’s $34.1 billion takeover of Xilinx Inc. Liana Baker, Fortune, 26 May 2022 The deal would make Broadcom—a computer chip maker—a force in software and cloud computing, where VMware is a major global player. Robert Hart, Forbes, 26 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Sox, playing without center fielder Luis Robert (lightheadedness) and left fielder Eloy Jiménez (tightness in his right leg), tried to chip away at the deficit. Lamond Pope, Chicago Tribune, 17 July 2022 Inflation is starting to chip away at Americans’ historic pandemic-era savings, and economists warn that some households are set to be harder hit than others. Tristan Bove, Fortune, 6 July 2022 The court’s recent efforts to chip away at separation should be seen instead as an essential part of a much larger project: To undermine church-state separation is to diminish the strength of public institutions, most notably public schools. Charles Mccrary, The New Republic, 5 July 2022 The 155-millimeter-diameter Excalibur shells, which home in on a spot of laser light and can strike enemy vehicles in forests, revetments and alleyways, could help the Ukrainians to chip away at the Russian army’s firepower advantage in Ukraine. David Axe, Forbes, 28 June 2022 Still, Golden State went ahead by as many as 16 late in the first quarter before Boston began to chip away with Curry resting on the bench. Scott Cacciola, New York Times, 13 June 2022 Now his White House, which was already trying to chip away at gun violence through executive orders, is organizing calls with activists and experts to plot a path forward. Globe Staff,, 27 May 2022 Though her approval seems all but sure — Democrats are aiming for a vote before Easter — Republicans kept trying to chip away at her record. Mary Clare Jalonick And Mark Sherman,, 24 Mar. 2022 Though her approval seems all but sure – Democrats are aiming for a vote before Easter – Republicans kept trying to chip away at her record. Mary Clare Jalonick And Mark Sherman, The Christian Science Monitor, 24 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About chip

Time Traveler for chip

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near chip



chip away

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Statistics for chip

Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Chip.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for chip


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on chip

Nglish: Translation of chip for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chip for Arabic Speakers


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