[ pen-suh l ]
/ ˈpɛn səl /
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.
verb (used with object), pen·ciled, pen·cil·ing or (especially British) pen·cilled, pen·cil·ling.
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.
Words nearby pencil
Origin of pencil
OTHER WORDS FROM pencilpen·cil·er; especially British, pen·cil·ler, nounpen·cil·like, adjectiveun·pen·ciled, adjectiveun·pen·cilled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for pencil in
/ (ˈpɛnsəl) /
- 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
verb -cils, -cilling or -cilled or US -cils, -ciling or -ciled (tr)
to draw, colour, or write with a pencil
to mark with a pencil
pencil in to note, arrange, include, etc provisionally or tentatively
Derived forms of pencilpenciller or US penciler, noun
Word Origin for pencil
C14: from Old French pincel, from Latin pēnicillus painter's brush, from pēniculus a little tail, from pēnis tail
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
Idioms and Phrases with pencil in
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.