whittling

noun

whit·​tling
ˈ(h)wit-liŋ,
ˈ(h)wi-tᵊl-iŋ How to pronounce whittling (audio)
1
: the act or art of whittling
2
: a piece cut away in whittling

Examples of whittling in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web My colleague at Commentary magazine, Abe Greenwald, points out that the past three and a half years have seen a whittling away of the arguments Biden used against Trump. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 4 May 2024 The tools are sturdy and sharp: there are two blades sharp enough for sawing, a pocketknife perfect for whittling, and two sharp scissors. Barbara Bellesi Zito, Travel + Leisure, 18 Oct. 2023 What is underemphasized, as a result, is the degree to which Birgitte’s concerns about her family and her appearance are intertwined with her fears about the whittling away of her legacy as Denmark’s first female Prime Minister, thanks to Signe, her younger, more social-media-savvy successor. Kylie Warner, The New Yorker, 4 Aug. 2022 But with Tya, there is no whittling. Melanie Fine, Forbes, 4 Jan. 2022 The whittling of the line between the listener and the protagonist’s interiority is the central mechanic of the piece, one that Kim and Iskra sought to realize by leaning hard on binaural recording. Nicholas Quah, Vulture, 22 June 2021 The whittling was especially tough, because mRNA vaccines weren’t tried-and-true commodities. Jared S. Hopkins, WSJ, 12 Dec. 2020 Pillsbury dabbled in drawing as a youngster in Nebraska and picked up sculpturing, wax and clay whittling, wood carving and creating bronze, silver and gold jewelry in later years. San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Sep. 2020 In fact, this method takes proper material selection, good cardio, and some solid whittling skills. Popular Science, 14 Apr. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'whittling.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of whittling was in 1833

Dictionary Entries Near whittling

Cite this Entry

“Whittling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whittling. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

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