from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a grooming tool used to scrape away dead skin, oil, dirt, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An instrument of metal, ivory, etc., used for scraping the skin at the bath.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An instrument of metal, ivory, or horn, used by the ancients for scraping the skin at the bath and in the gymnasium; a flesh-scraper. See cut under Lysippan.
  • n. A flesh-brush, or a glove of hair-cloth, rough toweling, or other article used for stimulating the skin by rubbing.
  • n. In entomology: A pectinated spur on the legs of certain insects (bees, wasps, ants, bugs, etc.), used for removing foreign substances from the surface of the body. See strigilis.
  • n. A curious asymmetrical organ composed of rows of black, closely packed, comb-like plates found on one side of the dorsal surface of the terminal abdominal segments of the males of certain Corisidæ.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin strigilis.


  • They likewise made use of the instrument called strigil, which was a kind of flesh-brush; a custom to which Persius alludes in this line,

    Travels through France and Italy

  • Here you get massaged with the thyme-infused oil and have the day’s dirt scraped off you with a curved instrument called a strigil.


  • The Greeks and other mediterranean ancients, commonly cleaned themselves by rubbing with scented oils and then scraping themselves with a metal strigil, bringing off the dead skin and dirt with the oil (this is making a comeback now as a "modern" beauty method).

    A Bit of Soap

  • They had a particular type of scraper (strigil) that they used to then collect all the olive oil and sweat and so on that had accumulated on their skin surface.

    Olives and People, Past and Present

  • And so no doubt he would have of strigil and sistrum, if, instead of currycomb and cymbal, (which are the English names dictionaries render them by,) he could see stamped in the margin small pictures of these instruments, as they were in use amongst the ancients.

    An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

  • Yesterday we joined many other Bears at a ren fair near Cov, didn't buy much * whistles* no really, I only got a strigil, a torc bracelet, a tiny leather pouch to keep OC money in and a pair of really nice glasses which are a wedding present for N & E ...

    October 30th, 2005

  • Once scraped raw and now tingling with excitement, you go to the caldarium for a sauna or steam bath trailed by slaves carrying towels, oil, and perhaps a strigil—the more scraping, the better.


  • I also saw more of Marc Antony than I needed to see, but I do like that they were using the strigil.

    Archive 2005-09-01

  • And do you think that a state would be well ordered by a law which compelled every man to weave and wash his own coat, and make his own shoes, and his own flask and strigil, and other implements, on this principle of every one doing and performing his own, and abstaining from what is not his own?

    Charmides, or Temperance

  • I made a quick trip to my home, poured olive oil onto my arms and legs, used a strigil to scrape off the dirt and oil, changed into my better tunic, then made my way to the south side of the Acropolis.

    Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine


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  • The word strigil has also been used to name the stick with which a bartender wipes off excess foam after a beer mug is filled from the tap.

    March 26, 2009

  • A flat scraper used by romans in bathing.

    September 24, 2008