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[bev-uh l] /ˈbɛv əl/
the inclination that one line or surface makes with another when not at right angles.
a surface that does not form a right angle with adjacent surfaces.
Compare chamfer.
(of a lock bolt) the oblique end that hits the strike plate.
(of a lock with a beveled bolt) the side facing in the same direction as the bevel at the end of the bolt.
an adjustable instrument for drawing angles or adjusting the surface of work to a particular inclination.
Printing. beard (def 5).
verb (used with or without object), beveled, beveling or (especially British) bevelled, bevelling.
to cut or slant at a bevel:
to bevel an edge to prevent splintering.
Also, beveled; especially British, bevelled. oblique; sloping; slanted.
Origin of bevel
1555-65; < Middle French *bevel (French béveau, biveau), Old French *baivel, equivalent to baïf with open mouth (ba(er) to gape (see bay2) + -if -ive) + -el < Latin -ellus; see -elle
Related forms
beveler; especially British, beveller, noun
unbeveled, adjective
unbevelled, adjective
underbeveling, noun
underbevelling, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bevel
Historical Examples
  • This will necessitate the use of the bevel in laying off the shoulders of the tenons.

    Mission Furniture

    H. H. Windsor
  • It will be necessary to have a bevel square to use in marking off the slopes and for testing them.

    Mission Furniture H. H. Windsor
  • A bevel square will be needed for testing these beveled ends.

    Mission Furniture H. H. Windsor
  • The bevel of the ends of the shelves will be the same as for the ends of the side pieces.

    Mission Furniture H. H. Windsor
  • First square up all the posts and bevel them at the tops as shown.

    Mission Furniture H. H. Windsor
  • The stones are without any bevel or ornamentation of any kind.

    History of Phoenicia George Rawlinson
  • The chisel should have the bevel all on one side, like those used by carpenters.

  • Then place it in the vise, and bevel one end and round the other as shown in the drawing.

    The Boy Craftsman A. Neely Hall
  • The bevel is in reality a try-square which can be adjusted to any desired angle.

    The Boy Craftsman A. Neely Hall
  • Care must be taken to keep the iron perfectly flat or a bevel will be formed.

    The Boy Craftsman A. Neely Hall
British Dictionary definitions for bevel


  1. Also called cant. a surface that meets another at an angle other than a right angle Compare chamfer (sense 1)
  2. (as modifier): a bevel edge, bevel square
verb -els, -elling, -elled (US) -els, -eling, -eled
(intransitive) to be inclined; slope
(transitive) to cut a bevel on (a piece of timber, etc)
Derived Forms
bevelled, (US) beveled, adjective
beveller, (US) beveler, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Old French bevel (unattested), from baïf, from baer to gape; see bay1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bevel

1560s, possibly from Old French *baivel (Modern French béveau, biveau), possibly from bayer "to gape, yawn," from Latin *batare "to yawn, gape," from Latin root *bat-, possibly imitative of yawning. If so, the time gap is puzzling. The verb is first recorded 1670s. The noun is 1670s, from the adjective.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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