- an implement, especially one held in the hand, as a hammer, saw, or file, for performing or facilitating mechanical operations.
- any instrument of manual operation.
- the cutting or machining part of a lathe, planer, drill, or similar machine.
- the machine itself; a machine tool.
- anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose: Education is a tool for success.
- a person manipulated by another for the latter's own ends; cat's-paw.
- the design or ornament impressed upon the cover of a book.
- Underworld Slang.
- a pistol or gun.
- a pickpocket.
- Slang: Vulgar. penis.
- to work or shape with a tool.
- to work decoratively with a hand tool.
- to ornament (the cover of a book) with a bookbinder's tool.
- to drive (a vehicle): He tooled the car along the treacherous path.
- to equip with tools or machinery.
- to work with a tool.
- to drive or ride in a vehicle: tooling along the freeway.
- tool up, to install machinery designed for performing a particular job: manufacturers tooling up for production.
Origin of tool
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordsengine, apparatus, means, utensil, weapon, appliance, mechanism, machine, device, gadget, gizmo, medium, accessory, contraption, job, implement, contrivance, whatchamacallit, go-between, stooge
Examples from the Web for tool
He wasn't crazy about being fat, but he saw his body as a tool to use in the making of his career.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
Tool around Capitol Hill, which brims gay bars, restaurants, and clubs.The Ultimate LGBT Travel Bucket List
December 12, 2014
“The spoon was a tool for foreshadowing,” the Facebook page explains.‘The Walking Dead’ Fans Demand: Bring Back Beth!
December 11, 2014
This study uses the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which is really a tool that tracks crimes.College Girls Are Less Likely to Be Raped Than Non-Students
December 11, 2014
“The Americans were a tool, used by the Safis in the Pech to rid them of their competition in the timber trade,” Zalwar Khan said.Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley
Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman
November 15, 2014
God can use us as tools, but to be a tool of, is not to be a fellow-worker with.Weighed and Wanting
Perhaps you will not be as ready to admit that a tool is a book.
I have suffered him to treat me like his tool and instrument.Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
At this point of his reverie Pierre was roused by Thomas, who asked him to fetch a tool.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
The man who does not care about his rights, depend upon it, will be made a tool of by those that do.Wilfrid Cumbermede
- an implement, such as a hammer, saw, or spade, that is used by hand
- a power-driven instrument; machine tool
- (in combination)a toolkit
- the cutting part of such an instrument
- any of the instruments used by a bookbinder to impress a design on a book cover
- a design so impressed
- anything used as a means of performing an operation or achieving an endhe used his boss's absence as a tool for gaining influence
- a person used to perform dishonourable or unpleasant tasks for another
- a necessary medium for or adjunct to one's professionnumbers are the tools of the mathematician's trade
- slang another word for penis
- British an underworld slang word for gun
- to work, cut, shape, or form (something) with a tool or tools
- (tr) to decorate (a book cover) with a bookbinder's tool
- (tr often foll by up) to furnish with tools
- (when intr, often foll by along) to drive (a vehicle) or (of a vehicle) to be driven, esp in a leisurely or casual style
Word Origin and History for tool
Old English tol "instrument, implement," from Proto-Germanic *tolan (cf. Old Norse tol), from a verb stem represented by Old English tawian "prepare." The ending is the instrumental suffix -l (e.g. shovel). Figurative sense of "person used by another for his own ends" is recorded from 1660s. Slang meaning "penis" first recorded 1550s.
"to drive a vehicle," 1812, probably from tool (n.). The meaning "to work or shape with a tool" is recorded from 1815; that of "equip (a factory) with machine tools" is from 1927. Related: Tooled; tooling.