Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

chisel

[chiz-uh l] /ˈtʃɪz əl/
noun
1.
a wedgelike tool with a cutting edge at the end of the blade, often made of steel, used for cutting or shaping wood, stone, etc.
3.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Caelum.
verb (used with object), chiseled, chiseling or (especially British) chiselled, chiselling.
4.
to cut, shape, or fashion by or as if by carving with a chisel.
5.
to cheat or swindle (someone):
He chiseled me out of fifty dollars.
6.
to get (something) by cheating or trickery:
He chiseled fifty dollars out of me.
verb (used without object), chiseled, chiseling or (especially British) chiselled, chiselling.
7.
to work with a chisel.
8.
to trick; cheat.
Origin of chisel
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English < Anglo-French, variant of Old French cisel < Vulgar Latin *cīsellus, diminutive of *cīsus, for Latin caesus, past participle of caedere to cut, with -ī- generalized from prefixed derivatives; cf. excide
Related forms
chisellike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for chisel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He left the room, and returned in a few moments with a chisel.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • They saw beauty and pursued it, in colour and sound, by word and chisel.

    Mountain Meditations L. Lind-af-Hageby
  • It is better to cut full, and trim down to the lines with a chisel or plane.

    Boys' Book of Model Boats Raymond Francis Yates
  • But you can cut off a vine-branch with a dagger or with a chisel, and in many other ways?

    The Republic Plato
  • Jed whistled a few mournful bars and sharpened a chisel on an oilstone.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Bruno hardly lifted his eyes from his chisel and soft iron hammer.

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • On this table were some sculptor's tools—a chisel and a small mallet, with which she had been working.

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • But the chisel slipped, the mallet fell too heavily, and he stopped.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
British Dictionary definitions for chisel

chisel

/ˈtʃɪzəl/
noun
1.
  1. a hand tool for working wood, consisting of a flat steel blade with a cutting edge attached to a handle of wood, plastic, etc. It is either struck with a mallet or used by hand
  2. a similar tool without a handle for working stone or metal
verb -els, -elling, -elled (US) -els, -eling, -eled
2.
to carve (wood, stone, metal, etc) or form (an engraving, statue, etc) with or as with a chisel
3.
(slang) to cheat or obtain by cheating
Word Origin
C14: via Old French, from Vulgar Latin cīsellus (unattested), from Latin caesus cut, from caedere to cut
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
Cite This Source
Contemporary definitions for chisel
verb

See chizzle

Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014 Dictionary.com, LLC
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for chisel
n.

early 14c., from Anglo-French cisel, Old French cisel "chisel," in plural, "scissors, shears" (12c., Modern French ciseau), from Vulgar Latin *cisellum "cutting tool," from Latin caesellum, diminutive of caesus, past participle of caedere "to cut" (see -cide). Related: Chiseled; chiseling.

v.

c.1500, "to break with a chisel," from chisel (n.). Slang sense of "to cheat, defraud" is first recorded in 1808 as chizzel; origin and connection to the older word are obscure (cf. slang sense of gouge); chiseler in this sense is from 1918. Related: Chiseled; chiseling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for chisel

chisel

verb

  1. To cheat or defraud, esp in a petty way; deal unfairly; scam: Every time I buy a car part, he chisels a buck or two (1808+)
  2. To get without necessarily intending to repay or return; bum, mooch: Can I chisel a cigarette from you, pal? (1920s+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for chisel

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for chisel

11
12
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for chisel