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.
- pen·cil·er; especially British, pen·cil·ler, noun
- pen·cil·like, adjective
- un·pen·ciled, adjective
- un·pen·cilled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use pencil in a sentence
Or, if you hate sharpening, you can consider opting for mechanical pencils.
To make sure that their germs stay with them, students shouldn’t share art supplies, pencils or paper, Kaushal says.
Perron worked out the first six dimensions with pencil and paper, but by the 1990s, researchers had learned how to translate Keller’s conjecture into a completely different form — one that allowed them to apply computers to the problem.
Smooth, continuous curves are the ones you’d likely draw if you sat down with pencil and paper.New Geometric Perspective Cracks Old Problem About Rectangles | Kevin Hartnett | June 25, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
There’s a famous story about the fact that no one person knows how to make a pencil.What Happens When Everyone Stays Home to Eat? (Ep. 412) | Stephen J. Dubner | April 9, 2020 | Freakonomics
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 | Marlow Stern | November 26, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 | Kevin Fallon | October 31, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Then he tagged me in one of his posts, and it was a horrific pencil drawing of my face.How Aidy Bryant Stealthily Became Your Favorite ‘Saturday Night Live’ Star | Kevin Fallon | October 31, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 | Tim Teeman | August 12, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Collectively, they span almost every technique and medium—from color pencil and markers to oil sticks and watercolor.O.J., Martha, Jagger, and Manson: Capturing Celebrities in the Dock | Justin Jones | May 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
A little boy aged two years and four months was deprived of a pencil from Thursday to Sunday for scribbling on the wall-paper.Children's Ways | James Sully
And sure enough when Sunday came, and the pencil was restored to him, he promptly showed nurse his picture.Children's Ways | James Sully
We are so many around here that you'll have to get paper and pencil and mark us down to keep track of how many.The Homesteader | Oscar Micheaux
He had written his name with pencil upon a leaf which he tore from his pocket-book, and sent it to the Marchioness.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
During my schooldays I spent many happy hours alone with book or pen or pencil.Fifty Years of Railway Life in England, Scotland and Ireland | Joseph Tatlow
British Dictionary definitions for pencil
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 function: a 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
- penciller or US penciler, noun
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with pencil
see put lead in one's pencil.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.