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

Of the dozens of devices implanted in his body over the years, most were inserted with his own scalpel. Wired, "This DIY Implant Lets You Stream Movies From Inside Your Leg," 30 Aug. 2019 To achieve this, the architectural team once again took out their scalpels and made some careful incisions. Los Angeles Times, "L.A.’s Music Center was built as an aloof city on a hill. Can a remade plaza change that?," 22 Aug. 2019 Would Serena really have let June off the hook for slashing her with a scalpel? Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 3 finale recap: A gorgeous and completely nonsensical ending," 14 Aug. 2019 The interplay between inside and out is clear: sallow skin giving way to a luminous realm beneath, energy released by the slice of a scalpel. Globe Staff,, "This Boston artist shunned the limelight. He deserves to be famous.," 1 Aug. 2019 So yes, dermaplaning essentially means paying a licensed esthetician to shave your face with a razor-sharp scalpel. Jessica Teich, Good Housekeeping, "What Is Dermaplaning? Everything You Need to Know Before Shaving Your Face With a Scalpel," 31 July 2019 Now the scalpels are out, and the issue is swiftly becoming one of the clearest dividing lines in the Democratic presidential primary. Jess Bidgood,, "Health care unified Democrats in 2018. Now it’s dividing them," 18 July 2019 With a scalpel, Easterling began to slit the snake’s belly, starting just below the chin. Gena Steffens, Smithsonian, "The Snakes That Ate Florida," 11 July 2019 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

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

3 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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