- a rotating solid stone wheel used for sharpening, shaping, etc.
- a millstone.
- 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
- a machine having a circular block of stone or composite abrasive rotated for sharpening tools or grinding metal
- the stone used in this machine
- any stone used for sharpening; whetstone
- another name for millstone
- keep one's nose to the grindstone or have one's nose to the grindstone to work hard and perseveringly
Word Origin and History for keep one's nose to the grindstone
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.