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 chisel (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

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Other Words from chisel

Verb

chiseler or chiseller \ ˈchi-​zə-​lər How to pronounce chisel (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 Headaches that feel like a chisel going through your head, scraping little bits off each time, fever, muscles that just did not want to work like (Saturday) walking my dog, Apollo, my quads and hip flexors just did not want to work due to fatigue. Greg Hardwig, USA TODAY, "Golf legend Greg Norman says COVID-19 'kicked the crap out of me,' warns others to take it seriously," 30 Dec. 2020 Headaches that feel like a chisel going through your head scrapping little bits off each time, fever, muscles that just did not want to work. John Sinnott, CNN, "'Like a chisel going through your head': Greg Norman delivers graphic account of dealing with Covid-19 symptoms," 28 Dec. 2020 Eddie Van Halen built his own guitar using second-rate body and neck parts, a chisel, some masking tape and bicycle paint. Magnus Berger, WSJ, "The Holiday Gift Guide for Music Geeks—From a Music Geek," 15 Dec. 2020 The sounds of a concrete saw and a hammer meeting a chisel meant the beginning of demolition work on a historic former Madison Street auto dealership in Oak Park, a building some in the community had hoped to preserve. Steve Schering, chicagotribune.com, "Demolition work begins on part of Oak Park history: former Madison Street auto dealership," 4 Dec. 2020 It was left unfinished, with rough, unsmoothed chisel marks skirting its lower third. Lauren Keith, Smithsonian Magazine, "Hegra, an Ancient City in Saudi Arabia Untouched for Millennia, Makes Its Public Debut," 23 Nov. 2020 Next, clamp each leg to the workbench, and use a sharp chisel to finish cutting the mortises to size. Neal Barrett, Popular Mechanics, "Make a Kitchen Table That Will Last Generations," 14 Nov. 2020 With a tiny steel mallet and a chisel, Altman set to work carefully chipping away her brow bone, before filing it with a tiny drill bit. Slanierdarby, Longreads, "There She Goes: How to ‘Feminize’ a Face," 13 Nov. 2020 The chisel being applied is Ronan’s Charlotte, whose arrival in Mary’s life, sometime during the 1840s, initially seems more burden than blessing. Justin Chang Film Critic, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Kate Winslet gives her best performance in years in the striking, passionate ‘Ammonite’," 12 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb After a yearlong delay because of the pandemic, the World Monuments Fund team is back in Babylon, deciding how best to address the damage in places where trying to chisel out the concrete could do still more harm. New York Times, "In Beleaguered Babylon, Doing Battle Against Time, Water and Modern Civilization," 6 Feb. 2021 The refusal to agree upon the facts of the election threatens to undermine voter confidence, chisel away at the legitimacy of Biden’s presidency and restack civic norms in still-unknowable ways. The Associated Press, NOLA.com, "President-elect? GOP may wait for January to say Joe Biden won," 9 Dec. 2020 Lackluster play in the final weeks, however, would chisel away at any margin for error the Buckeyes have left. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Three ways Ohio State football can win the way it needs to at Michigan State: Buckeye Take," 4 Dec. 2020 These birds chisel small cavities in posts and trees, power poles a frequent choice. Jim Williams, Star Tribune, "Blue jays cache food for the winter ‑ and remember where they put it," 24 Nov. 2020 Pare by hand to smooth the walls of the mortise and use a mallet to chisel the ends of the mortise square [8]. Neal Barrett, Popular Mechanics, "Make a Kitchen Table That Will Last Generations," 14 Nov. 2020 According to the National Retail Association, nearly half of all Americans — some 152 million — were to chisel pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Ways to enjoy the winter squashes of autumn," 3 Nov. 2020 Borglum hoped to carve the presidents down to their waists and chisel a description of the memorial next to them. Amy Mckeever, National Geographic, "The heartbreaking, controversial history of Mount Rushmore," 28 Oct. 2020 Other moves likely to chisel into his legacy were decisions made in hopes to de-escalate protesting happening in Birmingham in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Izzy Gould | Igould@advancelocal.com, al, "Reopening Alabama: A mayoral town hall series by AL.com," 24 June 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for chisel

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chisel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chisel. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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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 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)

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Comments on chisel

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