\ 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 Qualcomm corralled a number of its partners to endorse the new 870 chip, including OnePlus. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Qualcomm's Snapdragon 870 is a faster 865, but without WiFi 6E," 19 Jan. 2021 All three new phones are powered by Qualcomm’s latest mobile processor chip, the Snapdragon 888, and have 5G capable modems. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Everything to know about Samsung’s new Galaxy S21 phones," 14 Jan. 2021 Now, Marks supplies all of the gluten-free merchandise at Magnolia Table and Magnolia Market at the Silos, delivering oatmeal chocolate chip, vanilla bean and Carolina cookies three days a week to Waco. Anna Caplan, Dallas News, "This Southlake baker’s cookies are so good that Joanna Gaines and Neiman Marcus want the recipe," 17 Dec. 2020 Since 2015, Copeland has lived with a transistor-like chip, known as a multi-electrode array, surgically implanted directly into his brain. Washington Post, "Brain-controlled gaming exists, though ethical questions loom over the tech," 16 Dec. 2020 New research shows how to generate computer vision from a simple, low-power chip. Will Knight, Wired, "AI Algorithms Are Slimming Down to Fit in Your Fridge," 13 Dec. 2020 Apple began work on its own chip, based on Arm architecture, which first appeared in 2010, powering the iPhone 4. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Intel Not Inside: How Mobile Chips Overtook the Semiconductor Giant," 12 Dec. 2020 All of this is controlled by Apple’s H1 chip, of which there’s one in each ear cup. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "Apple’s AirPods Max are impressive, but we’re not sold on the price…yet," 10 Dec. 2020 Choose from flavors like birthday cake, chocolate chip, ginger snap, and triple chocolate. Amanda Tarlton, USA TODAY, "20 Black-owned businesses to support this holiday season," 3 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb No single genetic change can turn a virus invisible to an entire immune system, but successive shifts in the virus’s appearance can chip away at its familiarity. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, "We’re Thinking About Reinfection All Wrong," 24 Feb. 2021 Local union leaders are wary of anything that would chip away at collective bargaining rights for public sector employees in a state where few have them. Joshua Fechter, San Antonio Express-News, "Ballot initiative to gut San Antonio police union draws opposition from AFL-CIO," 7 Feb. 2021 However, aided by a number of calls that went their way and strong play in the paint, Ole Miss started to chip into Auburn’s lead in the last quarter of the game. Giana Han, al, "Auburn loses first overtime in 10 overtime games in physical battle," 6 Feb. 2021 So far, the only vehicle the Georgia Lottery has been able to secure for Kahler came from a dealer who wanted $10,000 above MSRP, but Kahler balked at any solution that would chip away at his winnings. Annie White, Car and Driver, "This Lottery Winner Can't Redeem His Prize Corvette," 21 Jan. 2021 While this will chip away at the age-old relationship between mountaineer and mountain, a second more worrying threat—the climate crisis—is also unsparingly reflected on the Eiger’s north wall. Mike Maceacheran, Travel, "The Swiss mountain that’s changing forever," 5 Dec. 2020 Arms control treaties are designed to chip away at existing nuclear arsenals and capabilities, while at the same time boosting the confidence of signatories in the treaty system itself. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Biden Wants to Extend America's Nuclear Treaty With Russia," 25 Jan. 2021 Bigsby continued to chip away at Mississippi State’s run defense as the night went on. Tom Green |, al, "Tank Bigsby puts exclamation point on freshman season with tour de force against Mississippi State," 13 Dec. 2020 While Coppin State jumped out to its largest lead at 54-41 with 14:17 left to play, UNCG continued to chip away. Kyle J. Andrews,, "Tarke brothers lift Coppin State men’s basketball over UNC Greensboro, 85-80, for first win of season," 10 Dec. 2020

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

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chip.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 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

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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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