pencil

1 of 2

noun

pen·​cil ˈpen(t)-səl How to pronounce pencil (audio)
1
: an artist's brush
2
: an artist's individual skill or style
3
a
: an implement for writing, drawing, or marking consisting of or containing a slender cylinder or strip of a solid marking substance
b
: a small medicated or cosmetic roll or stick for local applications
4
: a set of geometric objects each pair of which has a common property
the lines in a plane through a point comprise a pencil of lines
5
: something (such as a beam of radiation) long and thin like a pencil

pencil

2 of 2

verb

penciled or pencilled; penciling or pencilling ˈpen(t)-s(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce pencil (audio)

transitive verb

1
: to paint, draw, write, or mark with a pencil
2
: to plan or designate tentatively
used with in
penciled him in as the nominee

Examples of pencil in a Sentence

Noun Use a pencil instead of a pen so you can erase your mistakes. Verb He penciled some notes on a piece of paper.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Nyx Professional Makeup Slim Lip Pencil Strawberry makeup made the viral rounds in recent months (largely due to Rhode Skin's Peptide Lip Tint in Strawberry Glaze), and this $5 lip pencil that Bieber uses presents the look on a silver platter. Anamaria Glavan, Allure, 28 June 2024 Ryan Gosling, who dressed for a steamy summer’s night in London in a silk Gucci bowling shirt, white Gucci jeans, and Converse trainers; and Salma Hayek Pinault, ever the bombshell in a strict pencil skirt and heels. Kerry McDermott, Vogue, 27 June 2024
Verb
Bloomberg reports that a potential swap currently pencils out to a $35-per-share offer, which is more than the $31 that Spirit shares are currently trading for. Melvin Backman, Quartz, 25 June 2024 The 37-year-old, 14-year veteran was penciled into the Cardinals’ starting lineup by manager Oli Marmol — at third base, the first time Crawford played a defensive position other than shortstop (besides, of course, his cameo on the mound to end last season). Evan Webeck, The Mercury News, 20 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for pencil 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pencil.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English pensel, from Anglo-French pincel, from Vulgar Latin *penicellus, alteration of Latin penicillus, diminutive of peniculus brush, from diminutive of penis tail, penis

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1500, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pencil was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near pencil

Cite this Entry

“Pencil.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pencil. Accessed 12 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

pencil

1 of 2 noun
pen·​cil ˈpen(t)-səl How to pronounce pencil (audio)
1
: an instrument for writing, drawing, or marking consisting of or containing a slender cylinder or strip of a solid marking substance
2
: something like a pencil in form or use
an eyebrow pencil

pencil

2 of 2 verb
penciled or pencilled; penciling or pencilling
ˈpen(t)-s(ə-)liŋ
: to mark, draw, or write with or as if with a pencil
Etymology

Noun

Middle English pensel "an artist's brush, pencil," from early French pincel (same meaning), derived from Latin penicillus, literally, "little tail" — related to penicillin see Word History at 3pen

Medical Definition

pencil

noun
pen·​cil ˈpen(t)-səl How to pronounce pencil (audio)
1
: a small medicated or cosmetic roll or stick for local applications
a menthol pencil
2
: an aggregate of rays of radiation (as light) especially when diverging from or converging to a point
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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