General English

Cars & Driving

  • verb to cause damage to (paintwork) in the form of small pits


  • noun a device consisting of a small piece of a crystal of a semiconductor onto which are etched or manufactured a number of components such as transistors, resistors, and capacitors, which together perform a function


  • A small piece of semiconducting substrate material, such as silicon, on which miniaturized electronic circuitry (LSI or VLSI circuits) is fabricated.
  • A small fragment of metal, wood, stone, or marble that has been chopped, cut, or broken from its parent piece.


  • verb to hit the ball so that it comes off the bat in a high but fairly short arc, usually going over the heads of the close fielders
    Citation ‘When the time came to prevent him taking a single to retain the strike, Brian [Lara] chipped the ball with unerring accuracy over the in-field and was content with one run at the end of the over’ (Paul Allott, cricketer May 1994)


  • A small piece of semiconductor material upon which miniature electronic circuit components, such as transistors or resistors, are placed. A chip, for instance, may have hundreds of millions of transistors. There are various types, including memory chips, and logic chips. An entire computer may be held on a single chip with the appropriate components, and such chips may be used in countless items, such as automobiles, toys, appliances, clocks, and so on. Also called microchip, IC, or microcircuit.
  • A piece of semiconductor material or dielectric upon which one or more electrical components may be mounted, etched, or formed. Also called die (1).
  • synonymCPU

Information & Library Science

  • noun a small piece of plastic containing a set of electronic instructions to work computers and other machines


  • verb to leave, run away. Like its synonym duss, a vogue term among teenage gang members since the 1990s.


  • noun a space or crack left in something hard or brittle after a small piece has been broken off or out of it
  • verb to hit or kick a ball or puck so that it travels a short distance in a high arc
  • verb to play a chip shot
  • verb to become damaged by having a small piece or small pieces break off


  • noun a small stick-shaped piece of potato, fried in oil or fat

Origin & History of “chip”

Old English cipp meant ‘share-beam of a plough’ (a sense paralleled in related forms in other Germanic languages, such as Dutch kip ‘plough-beam’ and Old Norse keppr ‘stick’). This seems a far cry from the modern use of chip, for which there is no evidence before the 14th century, and in fact our noun chip may be a new formation based on the verb chip, which goes back to Old English -cippian ‘cut’ (found only in compounds). here again, though, the record is incomplete; for the post-Old English verb does not turn up until the late 15th century, and then in the very specialized sense ‘cut the crust off bread’. The more general meaning ‘cut’ appears in the 17th century, but the modern ‘break off a small fragment’ is as late as the 18th century. All in all, a picture confused by lack of evidence. But probably the basic etymological sense that underlies all later usage is ‘cut off’ or ‘piece cut off’ (the early noun senses representing ‘branch or bough cut off a tree’). ‘Small piece of fried potato’ dates from the 1860s. (Old French borrowed the word as chipe, and a variant of this, chiffe ‘rag’, is the ultimate source of English chiffon (18th c.).).