Whittle meaning

wĭtl, hwĭtl
(archaic) A coarse greyish double blanket worn by countrywomen, in the west of England, over the shoulders, like a cloak or shawl.

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(archaic) A whittle shawl; a kind of fine woollen shawl, originally and especially a white one.
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To reduce or eliminate gradually.

Whittled down the debt by making small payments.

verb
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To reduce, destroy, or get rid of gradually, as if by whittling away with a knife.

To whittle down the cost of a project.

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To whittle wood; often, specif., to cut away aimlessly at a stick, etc.
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A large knife.
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1907-96; Eng. engineer & pioneer developer of jet propulsion engines.
proper name
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A knife; especially, a pocket knife, sheath knife, or clasp knife.
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(intransitive) To cut or shape wood with a knife.
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To reduce or gradually eliminate something (such as a debt).
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(figuratively) To make eager or excited; to excite with liquor; to inebriate.
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To cut or shape wood with a knife.
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Origin of whittle

  • From Middle English whyttel knife variant of thwitel from thwiten to whittle from Old English thwītan to strike, whittle down

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

  • From Middle English whittel (“large knife"), an alteration of thwitel, itself from thwiten (“to whittle"), from Old English thwitan. Compare Old Norse þveita (“to hurl")

    From Wiktionary

  • From an Old English word for "white"; akin to an Icelandic word for a white bedcover.

    From Wiktionary