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  • IPA(key): /ˈtʃɪzəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪzəl

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English chisel, chesel, borrowed from Old Northern French chisel, from Vulgar Latin *cisellum, from *caesellum, from Latin caesus, past participle of caedere (to cut).


English Wikipedia has an article on:
A wood chisel

chisel (plural chisels)

  1. A cutting tool consisting of a slim, oblong block of metal with a sharp wedge or bevel formed on one end. It may be provided with a handle at the other end. It is used to remove parts of stone, wood or metal by placing the sharp edge against the material to be cut and pushing or pounding the other end with a hammer or mallet.
See also[edit]


chisel (third-person singular simple present chisels, present participle chiseling or chiselling, simple past and past participle chiseled or chiselled)

  1. (intransitive) To use a chisel.
  2. (transitive) To work something with a chisel.
    She chiselled a sculpture out of the block of wood.
  3. (intransitive, informal) To cheat, to get something by cheating.
Usage notes[edit]

chiselling and chiselled are more common in the UK while chiseling and chiseled are more common in the US.

Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English chisel, chesil, from Old English ċeosol, ċeosel, ċysel, ċisel, ċisil (gravel, sand), from Proto-West Germanic *kisil (small stone, pebble). See also chessom.

Alternative forms[edit]


chisel (usually uncountable, plural chisels)

  1. Gravel.
  2. (usually in the plural) Coarse flour; bran; the coarser part of bran or flour.
Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]


Old French[edit]


chisel m (oblique plural chiseaus or chiseax or chisiaus or chisiax or chisels, nominative singular chiseaus or chiseax or chisiaus or chisiax or chisels, nominative plural chisel)

  1. Alternative form of cisel