Definition of scalpel
: a small straight thin-bladed knife used especially in surgery
Recent Examples of scalpel from the Web
The Trump budget provides Congress with a good starting point to take a scalpel to the bloated federal welfare state.
The desert was entirely black now and cooling, the scalpel scrape of the sun finally off the land.
Ultralean and ultrastrong, Ceraflex found one of its first applications in surgical scalpels and industrial blades that dull far less quickly than comparable carbide or steel.
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.
Origin and Etymology of scalpel
Latin scalpellus, scalpellum, diminutive of scalper, scalprum chisel, knife, from scalpere to scratch, carve
First Known Use: 1742
SCALPEL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of scalpel for English Language Learners
: a small knife with a thin, sharp blade that is used in surgery
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up scalpel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).