in·cise | \in-ˈsīz, -ˈsīs\
incised; incising

Definition of incise 

transitive verb

1 : to cut into

2a : to carve figures, letters, or devices into : engrave

b : to carve (something, such as an inscription) into a surface

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Synonyms for incise


cut, gash, rip, shear, slash, slice, slit

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Examples of incise in a Sentence

The design is incised into the clay. The clay is incised to create a design.

Recent Examples on the Web

Among other astonishments here are numerous gorgeous plasters—penciled, incised and painted. Lance Esplund, WSJ, "‘Giacometti’ Review: Beyond a Retrospective," 19 June 2018 After the Yankees incised Duffy on May 19, his ERA hovered near seven. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Dallas Keuchel, Astros top Royals for 10th straight victory," 16 June 2018 Twenty-eight days ago in Houston, Severino incised the Astros. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Luis Severino, Yankees stump Astros in series finale," 30 May 2018 Large, spiral conch shells, probably once home to ancient sea snails and now notched by hand at the apex to form a trumpet, are incised with images of warriors, hunters and the dead — as well as zoomorphic creatures that may well be crocodiles. Christopher Knight,, "Teotihuacan: An ancient Mexican city's remarkable art comes to life at LACMA," 18 Apr. 2018 One of the mummies Sutro acquired in the 1890s was Nes-Per-N-Nub, a high priest at the Temple of Karnak whose wrapped remains were laid to rest about 4,000 years ago in an intricately painted and incised triple-nesting wood sarcophagus. Jesse Hamlin, San Francisco Chronicle, "SF State’s new Global Museum to house Sutro’s Egyptian Collection," 11 Apr. 2018 That approach begins with an incision in the inframammary fold, and the pectoralis muscle is then identified and incised, explains Smith. Erin Nicole Celletti, Allure, "The Complete Guide to Breast Augmentation," 10 Apr. 2018 Twenty-four years after her book was published, at the March on Washington of August 28th 1963, Martin Luther King looked out from the Lincoln Memorial over a sea of oppressed people (the date is incised on the memorial’s marble steps). The Economist, "The making of Martin Luther King’s speeches," 28 Mar. 2018 Ears flat, teeth bared and flanks incised with riblike arcs, the animal projects a tense ferocity far exceeding its size. Roberta Smith, Martha Schwendener, Jason Farago And Will Heinrich, New York Times, "What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week," 7 Sep. 2017

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

1567, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for incise

Middle French or Latin; Middle French inciser, from Latin incisus, past participle of incidere, from in- + caedere to cut

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Time Traveler for incise

The first known use of incise was in 1567

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More Definitions for incise



English Language Learners Definition of incise

: to cut or carve (letters, patterns, etc.) into a surface; also : to mark (a surface) by cutting or carving


in·cise | \in-ˈsīz \
incised; incising

Kids Definition of incise

: to cut into : carve, engrave A design was incised in clay.

in·cise | \in-ˈsīz, -ˈsīs \
incised; incising

Medical Definition of incise 

: to cut into : make an incision in incised the swollen tissue

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Comments on incise

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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