- 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.
awl definition by Webster's New World
Origin: earlier (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)
awl definition by American Heritage Dictionary
Origin: Middle English aul, probably blend of Old English ǽl and Old English awel, fleshhook.