View synonyms for chip



[ chip ]


  1. a small, slender piece, as of wood, separated by chopping, cutting, or breaking.
  2. a very thin slice or small piece of food, candy, etc.:

    chocolate chips.

  3. a mark or flaw made by the breaking off or gouging out of a small piece:

    This glass has a chip.

  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. a small cut or uncut piece of a diamond or crystal.
  7. anything trivial or worthless.
  8. something dried up or without flavor.
  9. a piece of dried dung:

    buffalo chips.

  10. wood, straw, etc., in thin strips for weaving into hats, baskets, etc.
  11. Golf. chip shot.
  12. Tennis. a softly sliced return shot with heavy backspin.
  13. the strip of material removed by a recording stylus as it cuts the grooves in a record.
  14. chips, Chiefly British. French fries.

verb (used with object)

, chipped, chip·ping.
  1. to hew or cut with an ax, chisel, etc.
  2. to cut, break off, or gouge out (bits or fragments):

    He chipped a few pieces of ice from the large cube.

  3. to disfigure by breaking off a fragment:

    to chip the edge of a saucer.

  4. to shape or produce by cutting or flaking away pieces:

    to chip a figure out of wood.

  5. Games. to bet by means of chips, as in poker.
  6. Tennis. to slice (a ball) on a return shot, causing it to have heavy backspin.
  7. Slang. to take (a narcotic drug) occasionally, especially only in sufficient quantity to achieve a mild euphoria.
  8. Chiefly British Sports. to hit or kick (a ball) a short distance forward.
  9. British Slang. to jeer or criticize severely; deride; taunt.
  10. Australian. to hoe; harrow.

verb (used without object)

, chipped, chip·ping.
  1. to break off in small pieces.
  2. Golf. to make a chip shot.

verb phrase

    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 ]

verb (used without object)

, chipped, chip·ping.
  1. to utter a short chirping or squeaking sound; cheep.


  1. a short chirping or squeaking cry.



[ chip ]


, Wrestling.
  1. a tricky or special method by which an opponent can be thrown.


/ tʃɪp /


  1. a small piece removed by chopping, cutting, or breaking
  2. a mark left after a small piece has been chopped, cut, or broken off something
  3. (in some games) a counter used to represent money
  4. a thin strip of potato fried in deep fat
  5. a very thin slice of potato fried and eaten cold as a snack Also called (in Britain and certain other countries)crisp
  6. a small piece or thin slice of food
  7. 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
  8. electronics a tiny wafer of semiconductor material, such as silicon, processed to form a type of integrated circuit or component such as a transistor
  9. a thin strip of wood or straw used for making woven hats, baskets, etc
  10. a container for soft fruit, made of thin sheets of wood; punnet
  11. cheap as chips informal.
    inexpensive; good value
  12. chip off the old block informal.
    a person who resembles one of his or her parents in behaviour
  13. have a chip on one's shoulder informal.
    to be aggressively sensitive about a particular thing or bear a grudge
  14. have had one's chips informal.
    to be defeated, condemned to die, killed, etc
  15. when the chips are down informal.
    at a time of crisis or testing


  1. to break small pieces from or become broken off in small pieces

    will the paint chip?

  2. tr to break or cut into small pieces

    to chip ice

  3. tr to shape by chipping
  4. sport to strike or kick (a ball) in a high arc


/ chĭp /

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Derived Forms

  • ˈchipper, noun

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Other Words From

  • chippa·ble adjective
  • un·chippa·ble adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of chip1

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English noun chippe, chip “chip, shaving, splinter” (compare Old English cipp “plowshare, beam, i.e., piece cut off )”; compare Old Saxon kipp “stick,” Old Norse keppr “stick,” Old High German kipfa “wagon pole”; late Middle English verb chippen “to cut, cut up, trim, chop” (compare Old English -cippian in forcippian “to cut off )”; akin to Middle Low German, Middle Dutch kippen “to chip (eggs), hatch”; perhaps all the Germanic forms derive from Latin cip(p)us “boundary stone, tombstone, stake, post, pillar“

Origin of chip2

First recorded in 1880–85; variant of cheep

Origin of chip3

First recorded in 1820–30; noun use of chip “to trip up”; cognate with German kippen “to tip over,” Old Norse kippa “to pull”

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Word History and Origins

Origin of chip1

Old English cipp (n), cippian (vb), of obscure origin

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. 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.

  2. chip on one's shoulder, a disposition to quarrel:

    You will never make friends if you go around with a chip on your shoulder.

  3. in the chips, Slang. wealthy; rich:

    Don't look down on your old friends now that you're in the chips.

  4. 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.

More idioms and phrases containing chip

  • cash in (one's chips)
  • in the money (chips)
  • let the chips fall where they may
  • when the chips are down

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Example Sentences

It suddenly occurred to her that she wanted a rum drink, and plantain chips, and to lose herself on a sweaty, packed dance floor.

This business has become a place where people take their kids after school to get a hot chocolate and a chocolate chip cookie.

From Ozy

Children are exposed to lead by paint chips found in homes built prior to 1978, contaminated soil and old lead pipes and fixtures.

Mazda just announced it might have to cut output by 34,000 units this year due to a lack of chips.

I’ll order the nachos but, like, really soak the chips in the queso.

From Eater

Like drawing tattoos, sewing earmuffs, or fashioning model airplanes from old chip bags?

Late former governors of NY, TX starred in a 1994 snack chip ad.

Can you chip away at the distrust of the police among black people?

That victory for the tab became a bargaining chip in all future dealings with the superstar.

When he returned to challenge James in 2006, he was a celebrity with a chip on his shoulder.

"Here's a white pitcher, Jess," Violet called, holding up a perfect specimen with a tiny chip in its nose.

In such a sea the boat was tossed as if she were a chip; but the gale gave her speed, and speed gave her quick steering power.

So Roly dove into his pack, which lay unbound on the shore, and presently produced a fish-line wound around a chip.

"Reckon they'll jest chip off all my feeturs 'fore they git done with me," he grinned, feeling of the wounded part.

He was to go to Aberystwith College, and to become a preacher, and wear a black chip straw hat.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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