trow·​el | \ ˈtrau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce trowel (audio) \

Definition of trowel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any of various hand tools used to apply, spread, shape, or smooth loose or plastic material also : a scoop-shaped or flat-bladed garden tool for taking up and setting small plants


troweled or trowelled; troweling or trowelling

Definition of trowel (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to smooth, mix, or apply with or as if with a trowel

Illustration of trowel

Illustration of trowel


trowel: 1 gardener's, 2 plasterer's, 3 bricklayer's

In the meaning defined above

Other Words from trowel


troweler noun

Examples of trowel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Likens usually keeps a kit with a trowel, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer. Hannah Singleton, SELF, 8 June 2022 Her principal utensil is a knife, but in a sense, Melanie Kehoss also uses a trowel. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 3 June 2022 Apply the adhesive using a 3/16-inch trowel, working on one side of your layout’s centerline, closest to the countertop. Sal Vaglica, USA TODAY, 8 May 2022 The two use a trowel to scrape up rock and dirt, and then a small brush to dust off the pieces removed from the hole that’s been dug there. Elena Bruess, San Antonio Express-News, 2 May 2022 Slowly use your putty knife to spread a layer of joint compound across the wood, then use a trowel to create your own line designs. Kaylei Fear, Better Homes & Gardens, 22 Mar. 2022 To find it, visitors will be able to use a new marker: a monumental sculpture in the shape of a trowel by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, scheduled to be installed on Friday. New York Times, 15 Mar. 2022 Add some peat moss and elemental sulfur to each hole for the blueberries and mix with a trowel. oregonlive, 20 Mar. 2022 Pull the soil back with a small trowel, your hands, or a chopstick or pencil (for tiny seedlings) and tuck the plant in by gently pushing the earth back in place around the roots. Emily Murphy, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Refractory Cement, Brick: Rutland Fire Clay Black Furnace Cement was troweled into the sink to protect it. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, 2 Jan. 2020 Cleverly, though, the movie’s writer, series creator Julian Fellowes, finds an unexpected new layer to trowel onto all the displacement angst., 18 Sep. 2019 The indoor-outdoor floor plan feels light and airy with white oak floors, troweled plaster walls and high ceilings. Los Angeles Times, 4 Sep. 2019 Jay Longino’s screenplay lards all the hoop action and comedy with troweled-on sentimentality and even a little romance — a little in this case still being too much. Mark Feeney,, 27 June 2018 The treatment also distinguishes the living room from the dining area and contrasts with the troweled-concrete floor. Marni Elyse Katz,, 15 June 2018 Rooms feature both Oaxacan tiles and troweled concrete. Jennifer Fernandez, WSJ, 8 June 2018 Drywall will be thinner and more uniform than plaster, which is usually troweled right up to the electrical box. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, 7 Feb. 2018 In addition to Chip and Jo painting the antiquarian island, the couple also finished the Romanesque cabinet by troweling a hard slab of concrete on top. Michelle Darrisaw, Southern Living, 13 Oct. 2017 See More

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

First Known Use of trowel


13th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1670, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for trowel


Middle English truel, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin truella, from Latin trulla ladle

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The first known use of trowel was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

10 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Trowel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for trowel


trow·​el | \ ˈtrau̇-əl How to pronounce trowel (audio) \

Kids Definition of trowel

1 : a small hand tool with a flat blade used for spreading and smoothing mortar or plaster
2 : a small hand tool with a curved blade used by gardeners

More from Merriam-Webster on trowel

Nglish: Translation of trowel for Spanish Speakers


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