[ strij-uh l ]
/ ˈstrɪdʒ əl /


an instrument with a curved blade, used especially by the ancient Greeks and Romans for scraping the skin at the bath and in the gymnasium.

Origin of strigil

1575–85; < Latin strigilis, akin to stringere to touch lightly; see streak, strike
Related formsstrig·il·ate [strij-uh-lit, -leyt] /ˈstrɪdʒ ə lɪt, -ˌleɪt/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for strigil

British Dictionary definitions for strigil


/ (ˈstrɪdʒɪl) /


a curved blade used by the ancient Romans and Greeks to scrape the body after bathing
architect a decorative fluting, esp one in the shape of the letter S as used in Roman architecture

Word Origin for strigil

C16: from Latin strigilis, from stringere to graze
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 strigil



"ancient tool for scraping the skin after a bath," 1580s, from Latin strigilis "horse-comb," from stringere (1) "draw along a surface, graze, wound, strip off, rub," from PIE root *streig- (cf. Latin striga "stroke, strike, furrow," stria "furrow, channel;" Old Church Slavonic striga "shear;" Old English stracian "to stroke;" German streichen "to stroke, rub"). Etymologists dispute over whether this is connected to Latin stringere (2), root of strain (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper