chisel

noun
chis·​el | \ˈchi-zᵊl \

Definition of chisel 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a metal tool with a sharpened edge at one end used to chip, carve, or cut into a solid material (such as wood, stone, or metal)

chisel

verb
chiseled or chiselled; chiseling or chiselling\ ˈchi-​zə-​liŋ, ˈchiz-​liŋ \

Definition of chisel (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cut or work with or as if with a chisel

2 : to employ shrewd or unfair practices on in order to obtain one's end also : to obtain by such practices chisel a job

intransitive verb

1 : to work with or as if with a chisel

2a : to employ shrewd or unfair practices

b : to thrust oneself : intrude chisel in on a racket

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Other Words from chisel

Verb

chiseler or chiseller \ ˈchi-​zə-​lər , ˈchiz-​lər \ noun

Examples of chisel in a Sentence

Verb

He chiseled off a corner of the block. Letters were chiseled into a wall.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Set against this are the pleasures of making things by hand and looking more closely at the natural world: Berg learns how to level a chisel, and to know the rates at which various species of wood dry. John Williams, New York Times, "Can Handiwork Save Your Soul? A Quiet Novel Suggests It Can," 10 July 2018 Clean up the bottom of each dado with a 1/4-inch chisel. Roy Berendson, Popular Mechanics, "6 Simple Projects You Can Make From Scrap Wood," 21 Mar. 2018 Regan loved tools, and kept his chisels and planes razor sharp. Anne M. Hamilton, courant.com, "He Brought His Skill For Teaching, Knack For Colonial Buildings To Coventry," 15 July 2018 That means that instead of chisel work in the field, the paleontologists are wielding jackhammers and rock saws. Steve Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "'Antarctic Dinosaurs' bring new ice age to Field Museum," 13 June 2018 That's a lot of work, and most bone tools from the same time period aren't nearly so carefully prepared; bone awls and chisels were usually worked just enough to sharpen the business end. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Early Middle-Eastern culture had a thing for gazelle scapula," 1 May 2018 Bites were served at a bar where bread was sliced with a workman’s saw and for dessert, oversize bricks of chocolate were hammered into with a chisel. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Yoox, Toiletpaper, and Wallpaper* Host a Garage-Cowboy Disco to Close Out Salone del Mobile," 20 Apr. 2018 Applications include metal, concrete, and drywall demo, or driving a punch or chisel. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "Dewalt Debuts Its First Sledgehammers and Axes With Carbon Fiber Handles," 21 Mar. 2018 The team also found chunks of black rock and pieces of red ochre that had been punctured by sharp stone chisels. Ann Gibbons, Science | AAAS, "Signs of symbolic behavior emerged at the dawn of our species in Africa," 15 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Some contouring skills would come in handy to help achieve Teddy’s chiseled nose, chin and cheekbones. Bethonie Butler, The Seattle Times, "8 last-minute pop-culture Halloween costumes for 2018," 29 Oct. 2018 Eliminating breads, starches, and baked goods in addition to cutting out alcohol, processed sugar, and dairy—on the advice of my trainer—quickly whittled my waist, chiseled my arms, and sharpened my jawline. Lauren Levinson, Harper's BAZAAR, "I Stopped Eating Carbs After 2:30 p.m. and It Changed My Body," 14 June 2018 Landlords are now routinely pushing to chisel away co-tenancy provisions when leases come up for renewal, said Ivan Friedman, head of RCS Real Estate Advisors, a New York consulting firm. Lauren Coleman-lochner And Eliza Ronalds-hannon, chicagotribune.com, "Mall tenants had an out when giants like Macy's left. Now landlords bar the door," 9 July 2018 Their rotation was woeful last season, and Moore has been forced to chisel talent from the bullpen. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "After Reviving the Royals, Hosmer and Cain Try to Spark Other Teams," 5 Mar. 2018 But now, reports the BBC, archeologists in Greece have found 13 verses from The Odyssey chiseled into a clay tablet dating to the third century A.D. or earlier, representing the oldest lines of the poet found in the ancient land. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Oldest Greek Fragment of Homer Discovered on Clay Tablet," 11 July 2018 My husband did all the stonework, too, and chiseled each flagstone into a perfect shape. Chris Ross, sandiegouniontribune.com, "‘Fairy garden’ makeover for drought-ravaged yard," 3 May 2018 The rule is a far-reaching step by the administration to wield its regulatory powers to chisel away at the Obama-era health law. Stephanie Armour, WSJ, "New Trump Administration Rule to Expand Access to Health Plans Without ACA Protections," 19 June 2018 Rozas 1er Cru is a step up, not as effusive or ample as La Bruja, and a little more chiseled. New York Times, "Reviving Ancient Spanish Vineyards, Building New Traditions," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chisel.' 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 chisel

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1509, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for chisel

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French *chisel, cisel, from Vulgar Latin *cisellum, alteration of caesellum, from Latin caesus, past participle of caedere to cut

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Time Traveler for chisel

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

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More Definitions for chisel

chisel

noun

English Language Learners Definition of chisel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a metal tool with a flat, sharp end that is used to cut and shape a solid material (such as stone, wood, or metal)

chisel

verb

English Language Learners Definition of chisel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cut or shape (something) with a chisel

chisel

noun
chis·​el | \ˈchi-zəl \

Kids Definition of chisel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a metal tool with a sharp edge at the end of a usually flat piece used to chip away stone, wood, or metal

chisel

verb
chiseled or chiselled; chiseling or chiselling

Kids Definition of chisel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cut, shape, or carve with a chisel A name was chiseled into stone.

chisel

noun
chis·​el | \ˈchiz-əl \

Medical Definition of chisel 

: a metal tool with a cutting edge at the end of a blade especially : one used in dentistry (as for cutting or shaping enamel)

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