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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.
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.


(ˈtʃɪzəld) or


1. (Crafts) carved or formed with or as if with a chisel
2. clear-cut: finely chiselled features.
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


[ˈtʃɪzəld] chiseled (US) adj [features, jaw] → taillé(e) au burin
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in classic literature ?
and how could they with their rude implements have chiselled and hammered them into shape?
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.
He was tall and slightly built, yet robust with finely chiselled features; his manners were exquisite, and his appearance distinguished.

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