• noun a metal block which ends in a point, has a rounded bottom and a flat top, and on which horseshoes, etc., are made

Cars & Driving

  • noun a heavy iron block on which something is placed for forging
  • noun the lower wheel of a wheeling machine


  • The part of a pile hammer that transmits the driving force to a pile.

Origin & History of “anvil”

Etymologically, an anvil is ‘something on which you hit something else’. The Old English word was anfīlte, which came from a prehistoric west Germanic compound formed from *ana ‘on’ and a verbal component meaning ‘hit’ (which was also the source of English felt, Latin pellere ‘hit’, and Swedish dialect filta ‘hit’). It is possible that the word may originally have been a loan-translation based on the Latin for ‘anvil’, incūs; for this too was a compound, based on in ‘in’ and the stem of the verb cūdere ‘hit’ (related to English hew).