Tool meaning

to͝ol
The definition of a tool is a device with a specific purpose.

A hammer, paintbrush, computer and wrench are each an example of a tool.

noun
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Something used in the performance of an operation; an instrument.
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To form, work, or decorate with a tool.
verb
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A device, such as a saw, shovel, or drill, used to perform or facilitate manual or mechanical work.
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Something regarded as necessary to the carrying out of one's occupation or profession.

Words are the tools of our trade.

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A person used to carry out the designs of another; a dupe.
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To ornament (a book cover) with a bookbinder's tool.
verb
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(slang) To drive (a vehicle).

Tooled the car at 80 miles an hour.

verb
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To work with a tool.
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(slang) To drive or ride in a vehicle.

Tooled up and down the roads.

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Any implement, instrument, or utensil held in the hand and used to form, shape, fasten, add to, take away from, or otherwise change something by cutting, hitting, digging, rubbing, etc.: knives, saws, hammers, shovels, rakes, etc. are tools.
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Anything that serves in the manner of a tool; a means.

Books are a scholar's tools.

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A person used to accomplish another's purposes, esp. when these are illegal or unethical; dupe; stooge.
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(slang) The penis.
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To form, shape, or work with a tool.
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To provide tools or machinery for (a factory, industry, etc.)
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To impress letters or designs on (leather, a book cover, etc.) with special tools.
verb
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To use a tool or tools.
verb
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To get or install the tools, equipment, etc. needed.
verb
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(informal) To ride in or drive a vehicle, often, specif., in a leisurely or careless manner.
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(1) A program used for software development or system maintenance. Virtually any program or utility that helps programmers or users develop applications or maintain their computers can be called a tool. Examples of programming tools are compilers, interpreters, assemblers, 4GLs, editors, debuggers and application generators. See toolkit.
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Equipment used in a profession, e.g., tools of the trade.

These are the tools of the trade.

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Something to perform an operation; an instrument; a means.
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(computing) A piece of software used to develop software or hardware, or to perform low-level operations.

The software engineer had been developing lots of EDA tools. a tool for recovering deleted files from a disk.

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A person or group which is used or controlled, usually unwittingly, by another person or group.

He was a tool, no more than a pawn to her.

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(slang) Penis.
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(by extension, slang, pejorative) An obnoxious or uptight person.

He won't sell us tickets because it's 3:01, and they went off sale at 3. That guy's such a tool.

noun
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To work on or shape with tools, e.g., hand-tooled leather.
verb
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To equip with tools.
verb
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To work very hard.
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(volleyball) To intentionally attack the ball so that it deflects off a blocker out of bounds.
verb
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(UK, slang, dated) To drive (a coach, etc.)
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(vulgar slang) The penis.
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(computers) A utility program.
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(law) Any instrument or device necessary to one's profession or occupation.
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A mechanical device intended to make a task easier.

Hand me that tool, would you? I don't have the right tools to start fiddling around with the engine.

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(slang) To put down another person (possibly in a subtle, hidden way), and in that way to use him or her to meet a goal.

Dude, he's not your friend. He's just tooling you.

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Origin of tool

  • Middle English from Old English tōl possibly from Old Norse

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English tool, from Old English tōl (“tool, implement, instrument", literally “that with which one prepares something"), from Proto-Germanic *tōlÄ… (“tool"), from Proto-Indo-European *dewǝ- (“to tie to, secure"), equivalent to taw (“to prepare") +"Ž -le (agent suffix). Cognate with Scots tuil (“tool, implement, instrument, device"), Icelandic tól (“tool"), Faroese tól (“tool, instrument"). Related to Old English tāwian (“to make, prepare, or cultivate"); see taw, and tow ("fibres used for spinning").

    From Wiktionary