chisel

Definitions

Cars & Driving

  • noun a simple steel tool with a sharp end, used with a hammer to cut through metal and other materials

Construction

  • A metal tool with a cutting edge at one end, used in dressing, shaping, or working wood, stone, or metal. A chisel is usually tapped with a hammer or mallet.

Real Estate

  • noun a tool for cutting and shaping wood or stone, consisting of a straight flat bevelled blade with a sharp square-cut bottom edge inserted in a handle, worked with the hand or held in one hand and struck with a hammer or mallet
  • verb to carve, cut or work wood or stone using a chisel

Origin & History of “chisel”

Chisel and scissors are related, for both come ultimately from Latin caedere ‘cut’ (source of a range of other English words from cement to concise and decide). From its past participle caesus was formed an unrecorded vulgar Latin term for a cutting tool, probably *caesellus. this must have become changed at some point to *cīsellus, probably under the influence of late Latin cīsōrium (source of English scissors), itself derived from caedere. This passed into Old Northern French as chisel, and thence into English. (The modern French equivalent, in the plural, is ciseaux ‘scissors’.).
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