- The definition of an awl is a small tool with a sharp point that is used to punch holes in leather and wood.
A person using a tool to pierce holes in a belt is an example of a person using an awl.
Origin of awlearlier (16th circa ) aule ; from Middle English alle ; from Old English æl ; from Indo-European base an unverified form əlā (from source Old Norse alr), an unverified form ēlā (from source Sanskrit āra)
Origin of awlMiddle English al, aul, from Old English æl; akin to German Ahle, awl, and Sanskrit ārā, goad, awl.
- A pointed instrument for piercing small holes, as in leather or wood; used by shoemakers, saddlers, cabinetmakers, etc. The blade is differently shaped and pointed for different uses, as in the brad awl, saddler's awl, shoemaker's awl, etc.
Middle English aul, alle, al, from Old English æl, from Proto-Germanic *ēlō (compare East Frisian älst, Dutch aal, German Ahle), from Proto-Indo-European *Hóleh₂ (compare Khotanese aiysna, Sanskrit अरा (árā))