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[chip] /tʃɪp/
a small, slender piece, as of wood, separated by chopping, cutting, or breaking.
a very thin slice or small piece of food, candy, etc.:
chocolate chips.
a mark or flaw made by the breaking off or gouging out of a small piece:
This glass has a chip.
any of the small round disks, usually of plastic or ivory, used as tokens for money in certain gambling games, as roulette or poker; counter.
Also called microchip. Electronics. a tiny slice of semiconducting material, generally in the shape of a square a few millimeters long, cut from a larger wafer of the material, on which a transistor or an entire integrated circuit is formed.
Compare microprocessor.
a small cut or uncut piece of a diamond or crystal.
anything trivial or worthless.
something dried up or without flavor.
a piece of dried dung:
buffalo chips.
wood, straw, etc., in thin strips for weaving into hats, baskets, etc.
Golf. chip shot.
Tennis. a softly sliced return shot with heavy backspin.
the strip of material removed by a recording stylus as it cuts the grooves in a record.
chips, Chiefly British. French fries.
verb (used with object), chipped, chipping.
to hew or cut with an ax, chisel, etc.
to cut, break off, or gouge out (bits or fragments):
He chipped a few pieces of ice from the large cube.
to disfigure by breaking off a fragment:
to chip the edge of a saucer.
to shape or produce by cutting or flaking away pieces:
to chip a figure out of wood.
Games. to bet by means of chips, as in poker.
Tennis. to slice (a ball) on a return shot, causing it to have heavy backspin.
Slang. to take (a narcotic drug) occasionally, especially only in sufficient quantity to achieve a mild euphoria.
Chiefly British Sports. to hit or kick (a ball) a short distance forward.
British Slang. to jeer or criticize severely; deride; taunt.
Australian. to hoe; harrow.
verb (used without object), chipped, chipping.
to break off in small pieces.
Golf. to make a chip shot.
Verb phrases
chip in,
  1. to contribute money or assistance; participate.
  2. Games. to bet a chip or chips, as in poker.
  3. to interrupt a conversation to say something; butt in:
    We all chipped in with our suggestions for the reunion.
chip off the old block, a person who resembles one parent in appearance or behavior:
His son is just a chip off the old block.
chip on one's shoulder, a disposition to quarrel:
You will never make friends if you go around with a chip on your shoulder.
in the chips, Slang. wealthy; rich:
Don't look down on your old friends now that you're in the chips.
when the chips are down, in a discouraging or disadvantageous situation; in bad or pressing times:
When the chips are down he proves to be a loyal friend.
Origin of chip1
late Middle English
1300-50; (noun) Middle English chip (compare Old English cipp plowshare, beam, i.e., piece cut off); (v.) late Middle English chippen (compare Old English -cippian in forcippian to cut off); akin to Middle Low German, Middle Dutch kippen to chip eggs, hatch
Related forms
chippable, adjective
unchippable, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for chip in

chip in

verb (adverb) (informal)
to contribute (money, time, etc) to a cause or fund
(intransitive) to interpose a remark or interrupt with a remark


a small piece removed by chopping, cutting, or breaking
a mark left after a small piece has been chopped, cut, or broken off something
(in some games) a counter used to represent money
a thin strip of potato fried in deep fat
(US & Canadian) a very thin slice of potato fried and eaten cold as a snack Also called (in Britain and certain other countries) crisp
a small piece or thin slice of food
(sport) a shot, kick, etc, lofted into the air, esp over an obstacle or an opposing player's head, and travelling only a short distance
(electronics) a tiny wafer of semiconductor material, such as silicon, processed to form a type of integrated circuit or component such as a transistor
a thin strip of wood or straw used for making woven hats, baskets, etc
(NZ) a container for soft fruit, made of thin sheets of wood; punnet
(Brit, informal) cheap as chips, inexpensive; good value
(informal) chip off the old block, a person who resembles one of his or her parents in behaviour
(informal) have a chip on one's shoulder, to be aggressively sensitive about a particular thing or bear a grudge
(Brit, informal) have had one's chips, to be defeated, condemned to die, killed, etc
(informal) when the chips are down, at a time of crisis or testing
verb chips, chipping, chipped
to break small pieces from or become broken off in small pieces: will the paint chip?
(transitive) to break or cut into small pieces: to chip ice
(transitive) to shape by chipping
(sport) to strike or kick (a ball) in a high arc
Derived Forms
chipper, noun
Word Origin
Old English cipp (n), cippian (vb), of obscure origin
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 chip in



early 15c., "to chip" (intransitive, of stone); from Old English forcippian "to pare away by cutting, cut off," verbal form of cipp "small piece of wood" (see chip (n.)). Transitive meaning "to cut up, cut or trim" is from late 15c. Sense of "break off fragments" is 18c. To chip in "contribute" (1861) is American English, perhaps from card-playing. Related: Chipped; chipping. Chipped beef attested from 1826.



Old English cipp "piece of wood," perhaps from PIE root *keipo- "sharp post" (cf. Dutch kip "small strip of wood," Old High German kipfa "wagon pole," Old Norse keppr "stick," Latin cippus "post, stake, beam;" the Germanic words perhaps borrowed from Latin).

Meaning "counter used in a game of chance" is first recorded 1840; electronics sense is from 1962. Used for thin slices of foodstuffs (originally fruit) since 1769; specific reference to potatoes is found by 1859 (in "A Tale of Two Cities"); potato chip is attested by 1879. Meaning "piece of dried dung" first attested 1846, American English.

Chip of the old block is used by Milton (1642); earlier form was chip of the same block (1620s); more common modern phrase with off in place of of is early 20c. To have a chip on one's shoulder is 1830, American English, from the custom of a boy determined to fight putting a wood chip on his shoulder and defying another to knock it off.



"break caused by chipping," 1889, from chip (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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chip in in Science
See integrated circuit.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for chip in

chip in

verb phrase

  1. To contribute, esp a share of some expense: We each chipped in twenty bucks and got him a new suit (1861+)
  2. To interject a comment; contribute to a colloquy: She chipped in some honeyed reminiscences (1970+)

[fr the adding of poker chips to the pot]



A flat piece of dung (1848+)


  1. To hit a short, usually high shot onto the green (1920s+ Golf)
  2. To use a drug or drugs clandestinely while abstaining from using the drug for which one is being treated or is undergoing psychotherapy: The men and women of the group also look at the man who is chipping. There is some palpable dismay (1960s+ Narcotics)

Related Terms

bargaining chip, blue-chip, have a chip on one's shoulder

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with chip in

chip in

Contribute money, help, or advice, as in If we all chip in we'll have enough to buy a suitable gift, or Everyone chipped in with ideas for the baby shower. Mark Twain used this term in Roughing It (1872): “I'll be there and chip in and help, too.” [ Mid-1800s ]
In poker and other games, to put up chips or money as one's bet. For example, I'll chip in another hundred but that's my limit or, as Bret Harte put it in Gabriel Conroy (1876): “You've jest cut up thet rough with my higher emotions, there ain't enough left to chip in on a ten-cent ante.” [ Mid-1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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