- a slender tube of wood, metal, plastic, etc., containing a core or strip of graphite, a solid coloring material, or the like, used for writing or drawing.
- a stick of cosmetic coloring material for use on the eyebrows, eyelids, etc.
- anything shaped or used like a pencil, as a stick of medicated material: a styptic pencil.
- a narrow set of lines, light rays, or the like, diverging from or converging to a point: a pencil of sunlight.
- a slender, pointed piece of a substance used for marking.
- style or skill in drawing or delineation: He favored the late products of the artist's pencil.
- Mathematics. the collection of lines, planes, or surfaces passing through a given point or set of points and satisfying a given equation or condition.
- Archaic. an artist's paintbrush, especially for fine work.
- to write, draw, mark, or color with, or as if with, a pencil.
- to use a pencil on.
- pencil in, to schedule or list tentatively, as or as if by writing down in pencil rather than in ink: I'll pencil you in for ten o'clock.
Origin of pencil
Examples from the Web for pencil
So, I had a pen and a pencil and started scribbling and drawing, and I felt good about it.The Renegade: Robert Downey Sr. on His Classic Films, Son’s Battle with Drugs, and Bill Cosby
November 26, 2014
And then one pencil drawing of my face, and one pencil drawing of the Genie from Aladdin.How Aidy Bryant Stealthily Became Your Favorite ‘Saturday Night Live’ Star
October 31, 2014
If you saw it in front of you, your pencil would drop, your tablet would fall from your lap.How Mork Melted the Fonz: Henry Winkler Recalls Robin Williams’s Storming ‘Happy Days’ Debut
August 12, 2014
I had a clipboard with a yellow piece of paper on it and a pencil over my ear.The Stacks: The Neville Brothers Stake Their Claim as Bards of the Bayou
John Ed Bradley
April 27, 2014
McCollough and Hernandez, who normally sketch with paper and pencil, pushed themselves this season by utilizing colored pencils.Fall Won’t Be Dreary for Proenza Schouler
February 13, 2014
"This is my address," said the merchant, writing it in pencil, and handing it to Robert.
With these words, he handed the pencil to the professor and returned to his seat.
He read with pencil in hand, and he had an elaborate system of marking a book.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
In this instance, his drawings throughout are in pencil, and he is his own topographer.De Libris: Prose and Verse
She drew it in pencil on an envelope on her way back in the street car.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
- a thin cylindrical instrument used for writing, drawing, etc, consisting of a rod of graphite or other marking substance, usually either encased in wood and sharpened or held in a mechanical metal device
- (as modifier)a pencil drawing
- something similar in shape or functiona styptic pencil; an eyebrow pencil
- a narrow set of lines or rays, such as light rays, diverging from or converging to a point
- archaic an artist's fine paintbrush
- rare an artist's individual style or technique in drawing
- to draw, colour, or write with a pencil
- to mark with a pencil
- pencil in to note, arrange, include, etc provisionally or tentatively
Word Origin and History for pencil
early 14c., "an artist's fine brush of camel hair," from Old French pincel "artist's paintbrush" (13c., Modern French pinceau), from Latin penicillus "painter's brush, hair-pencil," literally "little tail," diminutive of peniculus "brush," itself a diminutive of penis "tail" (see penis). Small brushes formerly were used for writing before modern lead or chalk pencils; meaning "graphite writing implement" apparently evolved late 16c. Derogatory slang pencil-pusher "office worker" is from 1881; pencil neck "weak person" first recorded 1973.
1530s, "to mark or sketch with a pencil-brush," from pencil (n.). In reference to lead pencils from 1760s. Related: Penciled; penciling. To pencil (something) in "arrange tentatively" is attested from 1942.
Idioms and Phrases with pencil
see put lead in one's pencil.