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

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Other Words from trowel


troweler noun

Examples of trowel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Once your bales are ready, dig out holes about six inches deep in the bales with a trowel or small tree saw. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "Straw Bale Gardening Is Easier Than You Think—Here's What to Know," 30 Jan. 2020 Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies tell Fox 6 that Mason Toney, 28, is accused of using a trowel, a tool for bricklaying, to stab William Knight, 28, to death on Monday at a job site. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Florida man kills pro-Trump boss after political argument, deputies say," 22 Jan. 2020 Each person got a bucket, a brush, a trowel, a thin metal pick and a pad to sit on. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian, "Want to Dig For Dinosaur Bones? Join the Pros at These Spots," 25 Sep. 2019 The weeding knife doubles as a trowel but is useful for light cultivation of soil and slicing of weeds young and old. Washington Post, "Whether or not Roundup is safe, the gardener has better options," 18 Sep. 2019 There was a pigeon skeleton, an old shoe, and a mason’s bucket trowel. Joe Alonso, Popular Mechanics, "The Head Stonemason of the National Cathedral Has One Tool He'll Never Get Rid Of," 28 Sep. 2018 But for the more cautious set, there are ways to expand one’s dietary diversity without taking to the streets with trowel and pail in hand. Time, "Why Modern-Day Foragers Want You to Eat Weeds for Dinner," 7 Nov. 2019 Use a trowel to measure a circle in the earth that's roughly 1 1/2 times the size of the plant. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "Here's What You Need to Know About Hostas," 23 Aug. 2019 The results are different each time, depending on the craftsperson’s command of the trowel and intention., "2019 Street of Dreams: A modern farmhouse with a Tuscan twist and water-wise landscaping," 13 Aug. 2019 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, "How to Make a Forge and Start Hammering Metal," 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., "Cleverly, though, the movie’s writer, series creator Julian Fellowes, finds an unexpected new layer to trowel onto all the displacement angst. Suffice it to say that being faced with irrelevance sure can be a royal pain.," 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, "Designer Kim Gordon sells contemporary beach retreat in Venice for $3.25 million," 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,, "In ‘Uncle Drew,’ Kyrie dribbles, Kyrie shoots, Kyrie acts," 27 June 2018 The treatment also distinguishes the living room from the dining area and contrasts with the troweled-concrete floor. Marni Elyse Katz,, "Sisters build a relaxed summer retreat in coastal Maine," 15 June 2018 Rooms feature both Oaxacan tiles and troweled concrete. Jennifer Fernandez, WSJ, "’50s Motels Go From Bleak to Chic," 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, "How to Remove Wallpaper," 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, "Joanna Gaines Reveals the Favorite Part of Her Kitchen," 13 Oct. 2017

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.

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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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Time Traveler for trowel

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for trowel

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Trowel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for trowel


How to pronounce trowel (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of trowel

: a small tool with a curved blade that is used by gardeners for digging holes
: a small tool with a flat blade that is used for spreading and smoothing mortar or plaster


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on trowel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with trowel

Spanish Central: Translation of trowel

Nglish: Translation of trowel for Spanish Speakers

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