- any of various tools having a flat blade with a handle, used for depositing and working mortar, plaster, etc.
- a similar tool with a curved, scooplike blade, used in gardening for taking up plants, turning up earth, etc.
- to apply, shape, smooth, or dig with or as if with a trowel.
Origin of trowel
Examples from the Web for trowel
I asked him if he filled his pies with a trowel and you ought to have heard him sputter.Mary-'Gusta
Joseph C. Lincoln
The trowel is the instrument with which these honours—and these fortunes—are won.Personality in Literature
Rolfe Arnold Scott-James
The mixed mortar is then applied with a trowel in a workmanlike manner.Concrete Construction
Halbert P. Gillette
A garden; and I could dig the pond if I had brought the trowel.Jewel
Clara Louise Burnham
Ibarra offered the trowel to the curate, who descended slowly in his turn.An Eagle Flight
- any of various small hand tools having a flat metal blade attached to a handle, used for scooping or spreading plaster or similar materials
- a similar tool with a curved blade used by gardeners for lifting plants, etc
- (tr) to use a trowel on (plaster, soil, etc)
Word Origin and History for trowel
mid-14c., "tool for spreading plaster or mortar," from Old French truele (13c.), from Late Latin truella "small ladle, dipper" (mid-12c.), diminutive of Latin trua "a stirring spoon, ladle, skimmer." The gardening tool was so called since 1796.
Idioms and Phrases with trowel
see under lay it on thick.