from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To cut small bits or pare shavings from (a piece of wood).
- transitive v. To fashion or shape in this way: whittle a toy boat.
- transitive v. To reduce or eliminate gradually, as if by whittling with a knife: whittled down the debt by making small payments.
- intransitive v. To cut or shape wood with a knife.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A large knife.
- v. To cut or shape wood with a knife.
- v. To reduce or gradually eliminate something (such as a debt).
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A grayish, coarse double blanket worn by countrywomen, in the west of England, over the shoulders, like a cloak or shawl.
- n. Same as Whittle shawl, below.
- n. A knife; esp., a pocket, sheath, or clasp knife.
- transitive v. To pare or cut off the surface of with a small knife; to cut or shape, as a piece of wood held in the hand, with a clasp knife or pocketknife.
- transitive v. To edge; to sharpen; to render eager or excited; esp., to excite with liquor; to inebriate.
- intransitive v. To cut or shape a piece of wood with am small knife; to cut up a piece of wood with a knife.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Originally, a blanket; later, a coarse shaggy mantle or woolen shawl worn by West-country women in England.
- n. A knife; especially, a large knife, as a butcher's knife or one carried in the girdle.
- To cut or dress with a knife; form with a whittle or knife: as, to whittle a stick.
- To pare, or reduce by paring, literally or figuratively.
- To intoxicate; make tipsy or drunk.
- To cut wood with a pocket-knife, either aimlessly or with the intention of forming something; use a pocket-knife in cutting wood or shaping wooden things.
- To confess at the gallows.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. cut small bits or pare shavings from
- n. English aeronautical engineer who invented the jet aircraft engine (1907-1996)
From Middle English whyttel, knife, variant of thwitel, from thwiten, to whittle, from Old English thwītan, to strike, whittle down.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English whittel ("large knife"), an alteration of thwitel, itself from thwiten ("to whittle"), from Old English thwitan. Compare Old Norse þveita ("to hurl") (Wiktionary)