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left: cold metal chisel with a flat head
top to bottom: cape, round-nose, and diamond-point metal chisel heads


A metal tool with a sharp beveled edge, used to cut and shape stone, wood, or metal.
v. chis·eled, chis·el·ing, chis·els or chis·elled or chis·el·ling
1. To shape or cut with a chisel.
2. Informal
a. To cheat or swindle.
b. To obtain by deception.
1. To use a chisel.
2. Informal
a. To use unethical methods; cheat: "who's up, who's down and who's chiseling on the side" (James Reston).
b. To intrude oneself without welcome: always tries to chisel in on our conversations.

[Middle English, from Old French cisiel, from Vulgar Latin *cīsellus, cutting tool, from diminutive of Latin caesus, past participle of caedere, to cut; see kaə-id- in Indo-European roots.]

chis′el·er n.


or chis·elled  (chĭz′əld)
Made or shaped with or as if with a chisel: a finely chiseled nose.


(ˈtʃɪzəld) or


1. (Crafts) carved or formed with or as if with a chisel
2. clear-cut: finely chiselled features.


[ˈtʃɪzəld] chiseled (US) adj [features, jaw] → taillé(e) au burin
References in classic literature ?
By my retentive memory of the hieroglyphics upon one Sperm Whale in particular, I was much struck with a plate representing the old Indian characters chiselled on the famous hieroglyphic palisades on the banks of the Upper Mississippi.
If he were insane, however, his was a very cool and collected insanity: I had never seen that handsome-featured face of his look more like chiselled marble than it did just now, as he put aside his snow-wet hair from his forehead and let the firelight shine free on his pale brow and cheek as pale, where it grieved me to discover the hollow trace of care or sorrow now so plainly graved.
The change consisted in the appearance of strange faces of low caste, rather than in the disappearance of the high caste, chiselled, and otherwise beautified and beautifying features of Monseigneur.
His finely chiselled nostrils quivered, and some hidden nerve shook the scarlet of his lips and left them trembling.
He was tall and slightly built, yet robust with finely chiselled features; his manners were exquisite, and his appearance distinguished.