[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. stridulatory,
  2. stridulous,
  3. stridulously,
  4. strife,
  5. strigiform,
  6. strigilate,
  7. strigose,
  8. strijdom,
  9. strikable,
  10. strike

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