pencil

noun
pen·cil | \ˈpen(t)-səl \

Definition of pencil 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an artist's brush

2 : an artist's individual skill or style

3a : 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

verb
penciled or pencilled; penciling or pencilling\ˈpen(t)-s(ə-)liŋ \

Definition of pencil (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Something like a pencil and paper, with a delete key. Leah Garchik, San Francisco Chronicle, "Vacationing in Sicily and New York, thinking of San Francisco," 4 June 2018 This is the first time students took the tests on tablets, rather than using pencils and paper. Ann Doss Helms, charlotteobserver, "NC has spent more than $150 million to boost reading. Are these scores worth it? | Charlotte Observer," 10 Apr. 2018 My low-maintenance morning routine—a quick brush up and pencil fill-in—was suddenly taking up a lot more time. Jane Chertoff, SELF, "This Is Why Your Eyebrows Are Thinner Than They Used to Be—and What to Do About It," 13 July 2018 With a few bold pencil strokes, Doffie Arnold brought to life Seiji Ozawa, whose forceful gestures seem to be conducting not just an orchestra, but the entire world. Bryan Marquard, BostonGlobe.com, "Doffie Arnold, an artist whose canvases sparkled with energy, dies at 94," 6 July 2018 Devin King is also very funny as Craig, an office manager obsessed with sharpening pencils. Patti Restivo, Howard County Times, "Laurel Mill Playhouse presents 'Laughing Stock'," 6 July 2018 The Senior Center provides all of the materials; coloring books, colored pencils, and refreshments for free. Courant Community, "Community News For The Windsor Locks Edition," 2 July 2018 These pencils, creams, and gels stand up to their lofty long-wearing claims, and there's one for every style and budget. refinery29.com, "20 Waterproof Eyeliners Beauty Editors Swear By For Summer," 28 June 2018 Over 500 bags were packed with pencils, crayons and toys for children on the other side of the world. Charlene Santiago, star-telegram, "'We help them have a life that God desires for all man kind'," 26 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Anyone who can nail down one spot kind of gets penciled in every day in that spot. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, "Ian Happ has earned large chunk of leadoff duties to start season for Cubs," 21 Mar. 2018 With the high cost of land and water in San Diego, farming rarely pencils out economically. Pam Kragen, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Olivenhain couple aims to save 98-year-old Vista farm," 22 June 2018 Gonzalez once left Arizona in a huff, penciled out by a new regime that studied analytics before their time, cast off to spend his last two seasons with the Dodgers and Marlins. Dan Bickley, azcentral, "Paul Goldschmidt picks up Diamondbacks torch from Luis Gonzalez," 23 Mar. 2018 Reds manager Bryan Price has Bailey, DeSclafani, Finnegan and Luis Castillo penciled in for the top four spots in the rotation. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "NL Central: One burning question facing every team," 9 Mar. 2018 The Fed has raised its benchmark short-term rate twice this year, most recently in June to a range between 1.75% and 2%, and officials have penciled in two more increases this year and three next year. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "Kudlow Says White House Hopes Fed Will Raise Rates ‘Very Slowly’," 29 June 2018 For only the ninth time this year, Andy Green penciled both Wil Myers and Eric Hosmer into the same lineup upon arriving Thursday at AT&T Park. Jeff Sanders, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres eager to finally pair Myers, Hosmer together," 21 June 2018 University of Portland runners Lauren LaRocco and Taryn Rawlings have been penciled in. Ken Goe, OregonLive.com, "Some marquee names among the Portland Track Festival entries: Oregon track & field rundown," 31 May 2018 Many of those signature items were penciled into the itinerary for the Texas trip, including suits and dresses in summery shades of yellow, blue and green, and riding clothes for an appointment at Lyndon B. Johnson’s ranch on Nov. 23. Bonnie Wertheim, New York Times, "Jackie Kennedy’s Packing List for Texas, Chic and Poignant," 3 July 2018

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1500, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pencil

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

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Statistics for pencil

Last Updated

22 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pencil

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

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More Definitions for pencil

pencil

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pencil

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an instrument used for writing and drawing that has a hard outer part and a black or colored center part

pencil

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pencil (Entry 2 of 2)

: to draw or write (something) with a pencil

pencil

noun
pen·cil | \ˈpen-səl \

Kids Definition of pencil

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a device for writing or drawing consisting of a stick of black or colored material enclosed in wood, plastic, or metal

pencil

verb
penciled or pencilled; penciling or pencilling

Kids Definition of pencil (Entry 2 of 2)

: to write, mark, or draw with a pencil

pencil

noun
pen·cil | \ˈpen(t)-səl \

Medical Definition of pencil 

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

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