- 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 tool on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for tools
The United States has tools to impose costs on the North Koreans.U.S. Should Make North Korea Pay for Sony Hack
Gordon G. Chang
December 18, 2014
Elsewhere on the Internet, and often, Turkers butt heads over which tools work best, or what nation they hail from.Amazon’s Turkers Kick Off the First Crowdsourced Labor Guild
December 3, 2014
She began operating out of her home garage in 1980, slowly acquiring the many props and tools that would decorate her dungeon.Whip It: Secrets of a Dominatrix
November 25, 2014
No, the tools used are just old fashioned, and the images produced are drawings, hardly a new invention.Blurred Lines at NY Sketchbook Museum
November 1, 2014
After a while, you start to realize that they were just tools used by the leaders and the Politburo.Putin’s Hockey Pal Tells All: Slava Fetisov on ‘Red Army,’ Soviet Nostalgia, and What Drives Putin
October 9, 2014
God can use us as tools, but to be a tool of, is not to be a fellow-worker with.Weighed and Wanting
They will feel that "the tools are with him who can use them."The Works of Whittier, Volume VII (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
Every boy should learn the use of tools, the gardener's or the carpenter's, or both.
In the afternoon he returned with his pard and tools for digging.Johnny Bear
E. T. Seton
His weapons and tools were of the rudest description, and made of chipped flint.English Villages
P. H. Ditchfield
- 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 tools
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.