[chiz-uh ld]


cut, shaped, etc., with a chisel: chiseled stone.
sharply or clearly shaped; clear-cut: She has finely chiseled features.

Also especially British, chis·elled.

Origin of chiseled

First recorded in 1730–40; chisel + -ed2
Related formsun·chis·eled, adjectiveun·chis·elled, adjective


[chiz-uh l]


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.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Caelum.

verb (used with object), chis·eled, chis·el·ing or (especially British) chis·elled, chis·el·ling.

to cut, shape, or fashion by or as if by carving with a chisel.
to cheat or swindle (someone): He chiseled me out of fifty dollars.
to get (something) by cheating or trickery: He chiseled fifty dollars out of me.

verb (used without object), chis·eled, chis·el·ing or (especially British) chis·elled, chis·el·ling.

to work with a chisel.
to trick; cheat.

Origin of chisel

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 formschis·el·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for chiseled

carve, sculpt, hew, sculpture, shape, incise, roughcast

Examples from the Web for chiseled

Contemporary Examples of chiseled

Historical Examples of chiseled

  • The chiseled stone is not more fixed than are the deeds of the minutes that are past.

  • I guess I would, in the tightest corner ever was chiseled out.


    W. A. Fraser

  • Tom handed his servant the segment he had chiseled from the main mass.

  • His smile was chiseled on his face and there was no doubt he would do what he said.


    Harry Harrison

  • If it had been chiseled by hand and set there, it could not be more sharply defined.


    Charles Dudley Warner

British Dictionary definitions for chiseled



  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 or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled

to carve (wood, stone, metal, etc) or form (an engraving, statue, etc) with or as with a chisel
slang to cheat or obtain by cheating

Word Origin for chisel

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

Word Origin and History for chiseled

"having sharp outlines," 1821, figurative past participle adjective from chisel (v.).



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.



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