strig·​il | \ ˈstri-jəl How to pronounce strigil (audio) \

Definition of strigil

: an instrument used by ancient Greeks and Romans for scraping moisture off the skin after bathing or exercising

Illustration of strigil

Illustration of strigil

Examples of strigil in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Instead, the Romans’ post-bath ritual involved anointing the body with oils and scraping excess grease away with a metal or reed tool known as a strigil. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Aug. 2020 As the study notes, the site also yielded two pairs of shoes; fragments of glass vessels; a bronze coin dated to between 198 and 217 A.D.; and a strigil, or curved blade used to scrape oil and dirt off one’s skin. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, 1 Oct. 2019 Among the trove were two strigils, blunt hooks that Romans used to clean themselves and wipe off oil while bathing and that athletes used to scrape away sweat. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, 13 June 2018 In fact, the strigil was considered the symbol of an athlete in the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, 13 June 2018

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

1581, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for strigil

Latin strigilis; akin to Latin stringere to touch lightly

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Time Traveler for strigil

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The first known use of strigil was in 1581

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Cite this Entry

“Strigil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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