chisel

noun
chis·​el | \ ˈchi-zᵊl How to pronounce chisel (audio) \

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 How to pronounce chiselling (audio) , 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from chisel

Verb

chiseler or chiseller \ ˈchi-​zə-​lər How to pronounce chiseller (audio) , 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

Every drip of Suerte tequila is built upon thousands of chisels strikes and hours of slow crushing. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "The Two-Ton Stone That's Made Tequila for Centuries," 28 Nov. 2018 Worn-out calks are removed promptly with chisel and hammer. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Lost Art of Floating Logs Down the River," 16 Feb. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Joshua was one of boxing biggest stars, a hulking, chiseled specimen who had fought in front of crowds of 90,000 in England. Adam Kilgore, courant.com, "Heavyweight champ Andy Ruiz Jr., once bullied for his weight, says ‘people can relate to me’," 5 June 2019 No, Reid isn't blessed with Madden's chiselled jawline — but really, who is? Samantha Sasso, refinery29.com, "How Richard Madden Went From Robb Stark To John Reid In Rocketman," 5 June 2019 Starched denim shirt against my palms, which have gradually found their way around his trim chiseled waist.... Ree Drummond, Country Living, "Every Die-Hard Romantic Needs to Read Ree and Ladd Drummond's Love Story," 6 June 2017 These three all have one thing—or person—in common: Nolan Hotchkiss (Chris Mason), a conniving, chiseled sociopath whose family basically owns BHU. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "I Never Thought I’d Love the Pretty Little Liars Spin-off More Than the Original, but Here We Are," 20 Mar. 2019 Instead, grind or chisel out all the old mortar, clean the gap with a wire brush, and then add the new mortar. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "So You Want To Fix Your Chimney," 21 Dec. 2018 Signs of the procedure, which usually involves chiseling an opening in a living someone’s head, have been found across North and South America, Polynesia, Ancient Greece, the Far East, Russia and Africa, with varying results. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Inca Skull Surgeons Had Better Success Rates Than American Civil War Doctors," 14 June 2018 By any standards, Robbie bears a striking, real-life likeness to the original 1950s doll—blue eyes, blonde hair, chiseled features, and a jaw-dropping figure that took center stage in her breakout role in The Wolf of Wall Street. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Will Margot Robbie's Starring Role as Barbie Reinforce Old Stereotypes—or Defy Them?," 9 Jan. 2019 Just one session will leave your face looking slim and chiseled, but repeated sessions will guarantee your best skin ever on the big day. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "17 Over-the-Top Beauty Treatments to Try Before Your Wedding Day," 13 Dec. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about chisel

Statistics for chisel

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chisel

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce chisel (audio) \

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 How to pronounce chisel (audio) \

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)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on chisel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with chisel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chisel

Spanish Central: Translation of chisel

Nglish: Translation of chisel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chisel for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about chisel

Comments on chisel

What made you want to look up chisel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

standardized text or formulaic language

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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