Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of pencil
Meaning of pencil by Wiktionary Dictionary


    Selection of colored pencils.


    From Anglo-Norman and Old French pincil ( modern pinceau ( “paintbrush” ) ), from Latin diminutive peniculus ( “brush” ), from noun penis ( “tail” ) + diminutive suffix -culus .


    • IPA: /ˈpɛnsəl/, X-SAMPA: /"pEns@l/
    • Rhymes: -ɛnsəl


    pencil ( plural: pencils )

    1. ( obsolete ) A paintbrush.
    2. 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 .
    3. ( 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 .


    pencil ( third-person singular simple present pencils present participle 通例 pencilling, US penciling, simple past and past participle 通例 pencilled, US penciled )

    1. to write something using a pencil
      I penciled ( BrEn: pencilled ) it in my notebook .
    2. To tentatively make a booking or appointment .
      I am very busy today but I can pencil you in at 3 p.m .

    Usage notes

    Derived terms

    External links

    • Pencil on Wikipedia .

Explanation of pencil by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. write, draw, or trace with a pencil

    2. he penciled a figure
    1. a thin cylindrical pointed writing implement

    2. a cosmetic in a long thin stick

    3. an eyebrow pencil
    4. a figure formed by a set of straight lines or light rays meeting at a point

    5. graphite ( or a similar substance ) used in such a way as to be a medium of communication

    6. the words were scribbled in pencil
      this artist's favorite medium is pencil

    Definition of pencil by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Pencil n. [OF. pincel, F. pinceau, L. penicillum, penicillus, equiv. to peniculus, dim. of penis a tail. Cf. Penicil.]
      1. A small, fine brush of hair or bristles used by painters for laying on colors.

      With subtile pencil depainted was this storie. Chaucer.

      2. A slender cylinder or strip of black lead, graphite, colored chalk, slate etc., or such a cylinder or strip inserted in a small wooden rod intended to be pointed, or in a case, which forms a handle, -- used for drawing or writing. See Graphite.

      3. Hence, figuratively, an artist's ability or peculiar manner; also, in general, the act or occupation of the artist, descriptive writer, etc.

      4. ( Opt. ) An aggregate or collection of rays of light, especially when diverging from, or converging to, a point.

      5. ( Geom. ) A number of lines that intersect in one point, the point of intersection being called the pencil point.

      6. ( Med. ) A small medicated bougie.

      Pencil case, a holder for pencil lead. -- Pencil flower ( Bot. ), an American perennial leguminous herb ( Stylosanthes elatior ). -- Pencil lead, a slender rod of black lead, or the like, adapted for insertion in a holder.

    2. Pencil, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Penciled or Pencilled; p. pr. & vb. n. Penciling or Pencilling.] To write or mark with a pencil; to paint or to draw. Cowper.

      Where nature pencils butterflies on flowers. Harte.

      pencil in to write ( a tentative appoinment ) on an appointment calendar, so as to reserve time, but to allow the appointment to be readily canceled and replaced with another; -- also used figuratively, with other means of recording appointments. The notion being that something written in pencil can be more easily changed than something written in ink. The phrase is commonly used in the early stages of organizing a meeting of multiple persons, before it is known whether all attendees will be free at the suggested time.