scal·​pel | \ ˈskal-pəl How to pronounce scalpel (audio) also skal-ˈpel How to pronounce scalpel (audio) \

Definition of scalpel

: a small straight thin-bladed knife used especially in surgery

Examples of scalpel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Joachim Trier's characters have a habit of taking a scalpel to their psyche. CNN, 21 Mar. 2022 What makes the best skiers so successful and thrilling to watch, the willingness to seek the razor-thin edge between aggression and recklessness, is also what often lands them under the scalpel. New York Times, 5 Feb. 2022 Sarah Rose took a scalpel and carefully scraped off the dark brown outer layer of a 200-year-old femur and collected the specks in a plastic box. CBS News, 11 Apr. 2022 Claire heats up her scalpel while Jamie offers Tom some whiskey and a stick to bite down on for the pain. Lincee Ray,, 21 Mar. 2022 That’s where the black boxes come in, giving government officials a scalpel rather than a sledgehammer for the filtering of specific websites and services without cutting off all access. New York Times, 23 Oct. 2021 Julie Cromer, the athletic director at Ohio University and the committee co-chair with Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey, said there are some on the committee who want to go through it with a scalpel. New York Times, 20 Jan. 2022 Dermaplaning is a skin-care treatment performed by dermatologists or aestheticians who use a scalpel to slough off the outermost layer of dead skin cells and faical hair to even out skin texture, tone, and smoothness. Ariana Yaptangco, Glamour, 12 Nov. 2021 A few days later, a wildlife veterinarian determined with a few flicks of her scalpel that other wolves had killed that healthy, dominant female. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, 28 Nov. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scalpel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of scalpel

1742, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for scalpel

Latin scalpellus, scalpellum, diminutive of scalper, scalprum chisel, knife, from scalpere to scratch, carve

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Time Traveler for scalpel

Time Traveler

The first known use of scalpel was in 1742

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Dictionary Entries Near scalpel

scalp dance



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Statistics for scalpel

Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Scalpel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for scalpel


scal·​pel | \ ˈskal-pəl also skal-ˈpel \

Medical Definition of scalpel

: a small straight thin-bladed knife used especially in surgery


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