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An instrument used in ancient Greece and Rome for scraping the skin after a bath.

[Latin strigilis; see streig- in Indo-European roots.]
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.


1. (Archaeology) a curved blade used by the ancient Romans and Greeks to scrape the body after bathing
2. (Architecture) architect a decorative fluting, esp one in the shape of the letter S as used in Roman architecture
[C16: from Latin strigilis, from stringere to graze]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈstrɪdʒ əl)

an implement with a curved blade used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to scrape oil, sweat, and dirt from the skin after exercise.
[1575–85; < Latin strigilis, akin to stringere to touch, shave, skim; see stringent]
strig′il•ate (-ə lɪt, -ˌleɪt) adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Three years later, when archaeologists raised the statue, it was revealed to be a Classical Greek Apoxyomenos, an athlete--most likely an Olympic wrestler--in the process of removing oil and sand from his nude body with a small metal scraper called a strigil.
Many of the objects came from Pompeii and Herculaneum and run the gamut from articles recognizable today, such as a razor, to discontinued objects, now unrecognizable, such as the strigil, used to scrape oil, sweat, and dirt from the body after bathing or exercising.
Elytrotergal stridulatory organs present, with elytral strigil (file-like structures) on the apical portion of the ventral sides of the elytra (Figs.
Note the insistence on the concept of weight, as observed in "pondus," "grauatum," and "pondere." (35) A further interesting case is offered by Riddle 89 (strigilis aenea), which describes a bronze strigil used for removing dirt and sweat from the skin in a bathhouse: "Robida, curua, capax, alienis humida guttis ..." [Ruddy, curved, capacious, bedewed with strange drops (i.e., somebody else's drops of sweat)] (1).
Early Greeks and Romans used a metal tool called a strigil (STRI-jehl) to scrape dirt, oil, and sweat from their bodies.
while the other, to the right, holds a strigil and an oil-flask to
SCRATCH MY BACK: A Roman bronze strigil that sold for pounds 336 in Bonhams
The Greeks cleaned themselves, for example after wrestling naked, not with soap but with a curved metal scraper called a strigil. Soap was made from animal fats and ashes and was known for thousands of years BC, but later olive oil was used rather than, or in addition to animal fats, producing a milder material.
Penalty flags might fly for some misspellings: "Illiad" for Iliad and "stirgil" for strigil, for example, but altogether the research is solid, with helpful bibliographies after each section.
170 (Vienna 814 = AR[V.sup.2] 1262.68), the athlete is clothed, but holds a strigil, as if to emphasize that he has just finished bathing.
Instead, they rubbed on perfumed olive oil and then scraped off the dirt and oil with a blade called a strigil. Also, Romans liked their food so hot and spicy they even flavored their sweet dishes with pepper.
Cleopatra, whose beauty habits have been well publicized, rubbed herself with oil and then used a blade called a strigil to scrape her skin clean.