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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”).
chisel (plural chisels)
- 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.
- (intransitive) To use a chisel.
- (transitive) To work something with a chisel.
- (intransitive, informal) To cheat, to get something by cheating.
From Middle English chisel, chesil, from Old English ?eosol, ?eosel, ?ysel, ?isel, ?isil (“gravel, sand”), from Proto-Germanic *kisilaz (“small stone, pebble”), from Proto-Indo-European *?eys- (“gravel”). Cognate with Scots keezel (“gravel”), Dutch kiezel (“gravel”), German Kiesel (“gravel”), Danish kis (“gravel”). See also chessom.
chisel (usually uncountable, plural chisels)