chisel

[chiz-uh l]
noun
  1. 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.
  2. chisel plow.
  3. (initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Caelum.
verb (used with object), chis·eled, chis·el·ing or (especially British) chis·elled, chis·el·ling.
  1. to cut, shape, or fashion by or as if by carving with a chisel.
  2. to cheat or swindle (someone): He chiseled me out of fifty dollars.
  3. 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.
  1. to work with a chisel.
  2. 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for chiseling

blade, knife, carve, sculpt, gouge, edge, adze, hew, sculpture, shape, incise, roughcast

Examples from the Web for chiseling

Contemporary Examples of chiseling

  • An artist in New Mexico has spent decades chiseling out fantastical caves from the mountains, one pickaxe swing at a time.

    The Daily Beast logo
    New Mexico’s Amazing Man-Made Caves

    Nina Strochlic

    December 12, 2013

Historical Examples of chiseling

  • When chiseling it is well to stand so as to look along the line being cut.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes

  • After this the chiseling out or mortising can be proceeded with.

  • He would not be much good at chiseling out a medieval cathedral.

    Dear Enemy

    Jean Webster

  • Her skin was smooth and fair and the chiseling of her features clean and strong.

    Fidelity

    Susan Glaspell

  • You are a cheap, chiseling, doublecrossing, money-grabbing heel.

    Noble Redman

    Jesse Franklin Bone


British Dictionary definitions for chiseling

chisel

noun
    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
  1. to carve (wood, stone, metal, etc) or form (an engraving, statue, etc) with or as with a chisel
  2. 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 chiseling

chisel

n.

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.

chisel

v.

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