scal·​pel | \ ˈskal-pəl 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

Four workers at the facility also tested positive for Ebola, one of whom seems to have gotten the virus by accidentally cutting himself with a scalpel while studying a monkey that died of infection. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "What is the Ebola virus, and can it be stopped?," 9 Apr. 2019 However, since the procedure requires use of a sharp scalpel, those with enflamed acne should pass on it until their complexion clears up. 2. Brooke Shunatona, Cosmopolitan, "9 Things to Know Before Dermaplaning Your Face," 18 Oct. 2017 Medicaid needs to protect against such fraud, but Oregon officials should not swing a scythe where a scalpel will suffice. Sally Satel And, WSJ, "Oregon Overshoots on Opioids," 16 Aug. 2018 Really that's just a fancy name for what amounts to a scalpel facial. Jessica Cruel, SELF, "What’s Up With Dermaplaning? Here’s What Scalpel Facials Are Actually Doing to Your Face," 8 June 2018 There’s no way to pack it away without the creating the sort of silhouette-ruining bulge that would make an Aston Martin designer stick a clay modeling scalpel in their eye. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Unfold the Complex Engineering of Aston Martin's Super Swanky Convertible," 9 May 2018 Then, your doctor will use a scalpel to pierce the stye and remove the contents of the bump with a curette. Korin Miller, SELF, "Sam Smith Reveals He Had Surgery to Remove a Stye," 15 Jan. 2019 Usually your doctor will use an instrument like a scalpel to remove the actual mole and surrounding tissue if necessary, Dr. Goldenberg says. Korin Miller, SELF, "What You Can Expect Before, During, and After Mole Removal," 28 July 2018 As for the surgical tools, the scalpel is used to scrape the plaster, and the syringe to inject materials into it. Charles Passy, WSJ, "Keith Haring Mural Is on the Mend at Brooklyn Hospital," 25 Oct. 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for scalpel

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for scalpel

The first known use of scalpel was in 1742

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More Definitions for scalpel



English Language Learners Definition of scalpel

: a small knife with a thin, sharp blade that is used in surgery


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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More from Merriam-Webster on scalpel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scalpel

Spanish Central: Translation of scalpel

Nglish: Translation of scalpel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scalpel for Arabic Speakers

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