Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

2017 Word of the Year

grindstone

[grahynd-stohn] /ˈgraɪndˌstoʊn/
noun
1.
a rotating solid stone wheel used for sharpening, shaping, etc.
2.
a millstone.
Idioms
3.
keep / put one's nose to the grindstone, to work, study, or practice hard and steadily or to cause someone to do so:
If I put my nose to the grindstone, I'll finish the job this week.
Origin of grindstone
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English. See grind, stone
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for grindstone
Historical Examples
  • Their weapons and tools are highly polished, and have evidently been ground on a grindstone.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • The grindstone was soon in motion; the sparks were flying off in showers.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • Sparks fly from a grindstone when you are sharpening a knife.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • Surface impurity can of course be got rid of by means of a grindstone.

    On Laboratory Arts Richard Threlfall
  • The pottery when cold may be dressed on a grindstone if necessary.

    On Laboratory Arts Richard Threlfall
  • It was more like a superior sort of traveling-tinker's grindstone than anything else.

  • The grindstone for woodworking tools is best when rather fine and soft.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes
  • But a grindstone should never stand in water or it would rot.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes
  • Oil is used on oilstones for the same purpose as water on a grindstone.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes
  • And he pointed to a grindstone that was turning and doing its work exactly like the others.

British Dictionary definitions for grindstone

grindstone

/ˈɡraɪndˌstəʊn/
noun
1.
  1. a machine having a circular block of stone or composite abrasive rotated for sharpening tools or grinding metal
  2. the stone used in this machine
  3. any stone used for sharpening; whetstone
2.
another name for millstone
3.
keep one's nose to the grindstone, have one's nose to the grindstone, to work hard and perseveringly
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
Word Origin and History for grindstone
n.

early 13c. "millstone," from grind (v.) in sense of "sharpen" + stone (n.); meaning "revolving stone disc used for sharpening, etc." is from c.1400. Phrase nose to the grindstone in use by 1530s; originally to get control of another and treat him harshly:

This Text holdeth their noses so hard to the grindstone, that it clean disfigureth their Faces. [John Frith, "Mirror to know Thyself," 1532]
The main modern (reflective) sense of "work hard" is from 1828.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with grindstone

grindstone

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for grindstone

Word Value for grindstone

12
15
Scrabble Words With Friends