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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.chiseler - a person who swindles you by means of deception or fraud
card shark, card sharp, card sharper, cardsharp, cardsharper, sharper, sharpie, sharpy - a professional card player who makes a living by cheating at card games
clip artist - a swindler who fleeces the victim
con artist, con man, confidence man - a swindler who exploits the confidence of his victim
beguiler, cheater, deceiver, trickster, slicker, cheat - someone who leads you to believe something that is not true
welcher, welsher - someone who swindles you by not repaying a debt or wager
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


Informal. A person who cheats:
Informal: crook, flimflammer.
Slang: diddler, gyp, gypper.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
So maybe having in the Oval Office a notorious cheapskate and chiseler who weasels out of his contracts and obligations will come in handy for once.
Others will take the episode as confirmation of their belief that everyone in public life is a chiseler.
Christine Korsgaard calls this "the positive conception of evil," where the evil person is someone "ruthless, unconstrained" and thus "[e]vil is power and goodness is weakness." (331) Standing within this broadly Christian tradition; Kant too characterized evil as essentially a misdirection of free will, an "inversion" of our "maxims." (332) When Kant thought about evil, his model was "the cheat, the chiseler, the guy who bends the rules in his own favor." (333) Again, the focus is on free will and wrongful choices, along with the vices of character--for Milton, pride; for Kant, selfishness--that lead to wrongful choices.
Strausbaugh backs up this ambitious claim not by breaking new ground but by transforming a collection of articles and profiles that have appeared in the New York Press, The New York Times, the Chiseler, Cabinet, and the Truth Barrier into a rambling account of a mythic, reinvented, and reconstructed portion of Manhattan that still draws tourists and romantics, even though what they are looking for has moved to Brooklyn, Hoboken, and Jersey City.
Unlike Robert Hayden, Christopher Gilbert is not a chiseler but an exuberant teller of tales.
Sacerdoti's fascinating collection closes, aptly enough, with the "The Monument-Maker," where a spirited ghost (rather too spirited to be based solely on Emma-perhaps there are infusions of the late Mrs Hardy senior, who was indeed a highly spirited woman) chides the mourning chiseler, busily carving her memorial, for never having cared much for her.
Madoff helped himself to a little bit more money than the usual chiseler; by his reckoning, more than $50 billion of clients' funds were gone.
'a true scholar and a chiseler who infringes a work for personal
To admit either, of course, is to tautologically determine both, a conclusion that follows precisely Caspar's own logic in suspecting Bernie, logic that Leo had read right back to him: "You know Bernie's chiseling you because he's a chiseler. And you know he's a chiseler because he's chiseling you." In response, Caspar mutters, "Sometimes you just know." He knows Bernie is selling (queering, speaking about) the fix because he has no ethics, and he knows Bernie has no ethics because he is selling the fix.
He was a chiseler as a ball player, so far as that is concerned, and if he shows very decided tendencies to do the chiseling act with us, I am inclined to have you go on down on your health seeking job without him....
Felice had her own family miseries--most everyone does, though she had not told Franz what they were: that her sister had secretly borne an illegitimate child, that her father had lived with a woman not his wife, that her brother was a chiseler and a deadbeat--and the idea of being lifted out of such confines in an acceptable way must have seemed appealing.
(123) Among the ideological ambiguities abounding in the passage of this act are the following facts: Moretti, a strong liberal and supposedly sensitive to the stereotype of welfare recipient as chiseler, said: "We had no desire to protect the goddam welfare cheats.