- The definition of a pencil is a narrow tube-shaped instrument filled with graphite or colored wax that is used for writing and drawing.
An example of a pencil is what a student uses for answering questions on a test.
- Pencil is defined as to draw or write with an instrument that produces marks which can be erased.
An example of pencil is to enter an appointment on a calendar that might have to be erased if the appointment is rescheduled.
Pencils in a glass.
- Archaic an artist's small, fine brush
- the individual style or ability of an artist
- a slender, rod-shaped instrument of wood, metal, etc. with a center stick of graphite, crayon, etc. that is sharpened to a point for marking, writing, and drawing
- something shaped or used like a pencil; specif.,
- a small cosmetic stick as for darkening or redrawing the contours of the eyebrows
- a stick of some medicated substance: a styptic pencil
- a series of lines or rays coming to or spreading out from a point
- Math. a set of lines, planes, etc. passing through a given point or points and satisfying a given equation, as
- all the lines passing through a given point
- all the planes passing through a given line
- all the circles lying in a given plane and passing through two fixed points
Origin of pencilMiddle English pencel ; from Middle French pincel ; from Vulgar Latin an unverified form penicellus ; from Classical Latin penicillus, a brush ; from diminutive of penis, a tail, penis: mod. sense and amp; form influenced, influence by pen
- A narrow, generally cylindrical implement for writing, drawing, or marking, consisting of a thin rod of graphite, colored wax, or similar substance encased in wood or held in a mechanical holder.
- Something shaped or used like a pencil, especially a narrow medicated or cosmetic stick: an eyebrow pencil.
- a. A style or technique in drawing or delineating.b. Descriptive skill: “His characters are drawn with a strong pencil” (Henry Hallam).c. An artist's brush, especially a fine one.
- Physics A beam of radiant energy in the form of a narrow cone or cylinder.
- Mathematics A family of geometric objects, such as lines, that have a common property, such as passage through a given line in a given plane.
transitive verbpen·ciled, pen·cil·ing, pen·cils also pen·cilled or pen·cil·ling
- To write or produce by using a pencil.
- To mark or color with or as if with a pencil.
Origin of pencilMiddle English pencel, artist's brush, from Old French pincel, peincel, from Vulgar Latin *pēnicellus, alteration of Latin pēnicillus, diminutive of pēniculus, diminutive of pēnis, tail, brush; see pes- in Indo-European roots.
- pen′cil·er, pen′cil·ler
- 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, II.17:
- why is it not lawfull for every man to pourtray himself with his pen, as it was for him to doe it with a pensell?
- Writing utensil that uses graphite (commonly referred to as lead). Regular pencils usually have a graphite shaft surrounded by wood. Also available in a mechanical version where the graphite length can be adjusted and sharpening is not needed.
- (geometry) A family of geometric objects with a common property, such as the set of lines that pass through a given point in a projective plane.
- (optics) An aggregate or collection of rays of light, especially when diverging from, or converging to, a point.
- (medicine, archaic) A small medicated bougie.
(third-person singular simple present pencils, present participle Commonwealth pencilling, US penciling, simple past and past participle Commonwealth pencilled, US penciled)
- to write something using a pencil
- I penciled (BrEn: pencilled) it in my notebook.
- To tentatively make a booking or appointment.
- I am very busy today but I can pencil you in at 3 p.m.