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
We would get a sheaf of papers and pencils and listen to the tapes.
Williams works primarily in oil paint sticks and colored pencils.O.J., Martha, Jagger, and Manson: Capturing Celebrities in the Dock | Justin Jones | May 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
His wife was a Revlon representative, and she had a whole load of these eye shadows and pencils and things that I could use.The Gonzo Artist: Behind Ralph Steadman’s Most Famous Work | Alex Suskind | April 27, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
McCollough and Hernandez, who normally sketch with paper and pencil, pushed themselves this season by utilizing colored pencils.
Because of that association, pencils are often painted yellow.
So after some weeks of speculation, he bought himself a tablet, some pencils and took up the art of writing.The Homesteader | Oscar Micheaux
Pencils for mechanical drawing should be sharpened with a chisel point, and those for freehand work with a round point.An Introduction to Machine Drawing and Design | David Allan Low
The legs are made of two lengths of wire, of sufficient stiffness, and are shaped to form holders for lead pencils and penholders.The Boy Mechanic, Book 2 | Various
Grind the base of the tang into a knife blade for sharpening pencils, shaving chalk, opening envelopes, etc.The Boy Mechanic, Book 2 | Various
All sorts and conditions of men armed with pads, pencils, motion-picture cameras, still cameras.My Wonderful Visit | Charlie Chaplin
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.