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

The giant portrait crafted with plaster and chisels has greeted people driving into Downtown on 5th Street since 2011. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati.com, "Downtown mural covered in concrete, owner says wall had to be secured," 2 July 2019 The tools were chisels and gouges with a variety of blades; Mr. Esterly had 130 such implements on hand at his workbench. BostonGlobe.com, "David Esterly, master carver steeped in history and nature, dies at 75," 22 June 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On top, a textured block that looks like it was chiseled out of Greece’s stratigraphy blends into the land and contains the attic, office space, and an expansive terrace. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Mirrored house disappears into the landscape," 27 June 2019 While the Golden State Warriors aren’t dead yet, the tombstone for their dynasty is being chiseled, and the race for the NBA championship seems wide open, there for the bold to claim. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kiszla: With NBA championship race wide open, Nuggets’ big move in free agency will be … Paul Millsap? Are they nuts?," 26 June 2019 The astronauts chiseled bits of the moon from the boulder. Quanta Magazine, "What Made the Moon? New Ideas Try to Rescue a Troubled Theory," 2 Aug. 2017 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

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

12 Jul 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

something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!