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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 bevelling
Historical Examples
  • The bevelling of the curves at the ends was the only new feature of the knife work.

    Carpentry and Woodwork

    Edwin W. Foster
  • This looks well and saves the need of bevelling the edges of the roof-boards.

    Woodworking for Beginners Charles Gardner Wheeler
  • The most difficult part is the bevelling of the joints (see bevelling).

    Woodworking for Beginners Charles Gardner Wheeler
  • This may, however, be remedied to a great extent by bevelling off the ends from the outside as shown in Fig. 1416.

  • He soon invented a machine for bevelling hoop-rings, and made five thousand dollars the first year from its use.

  • Also, the bevelling of any piece of timber or plank to any required angle: as the bearding of dead wood, clamps, &c.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • Any alteration from a square in hewing timber, as taken by the bevel, bevelling rule, or bevelling boards.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • In marine architecture, implies those frames which are square with the line of the keel, having no bevelling upon them.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • The bevelling of the panel is always a sign that a chair is later in date than the year 1670.

  • The bevelling of the edges of the top and front boards can be done after the box is put together (see bevelling).

    Woodworking for Beginners Charles Gardner Wheeler
British Dictionary definitions for bevelling


  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 bevelling



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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