Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A device, such as a saw, shovel, or drill, used to perform or facilitate manual or mechanical work.
  • noun A machine, such as a lathe, used to cut and shape machine parts or other objects.
  • noun The cutting part of such a machine.
  • noun Something regarded as necessary to the carrying out of one's occupation or profession.
  • noun Something used in the performance of an operation; an instrument.
  • noun Vulgar Slang The penis.
  • noun A person used to carry out the designs of another; a dupe.
  • noun A bookbinder's hand stamp.
  • noun A design impressed on a book cover by such a stamp.
  • noun Computers A utility program.
  • intransitive verb To form, work, or decorate with a tool.
  • intransitive verb To ornament (a book cover) with a bookbinder's tool.
  • intransitive verb Slang To drive (a vehicle).
  • intransitive verb To work with a tool.
  • intransitive verb Slang To drive or ride in a vehicle.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To drive, as a four-in-hand, mailcoach, racing-wagon, or other wheeled vehicle.
  • To draw in a vehicle.
  • To drive; ride.
  • In bookbinding, to ornament or give a final shape to by means of a special tool, especially when the mark of the tool is intentionally left visible.
  • To work with a tool; specifically, in bookbinding, to execute tooling.
  • noun A mechanical implement; any implement used by a craftsman or laborer at his work; an instrument employed for performing or facilitating mechanical operations by means of percussion, penetration, separation, abrasion, friction, etc., of the substances operated upon, for all of which operations various motions are required to be given either to the tool or to the work.
  • noun One of the small pallets or stamps used by the bookbinder's finisher to work out the designs on the cover of a book: applied to stamps used by hand.
  • noun A small round brush used by house-painters for painting moldings at the margins of panels, window-sashes, and narrow fillets.
  • noun By extension, something used in any occupation or pursuit as tools are used by the mechanic: as, literary tools (books, etc.); soldiers' tools (weapons, etc.); specifically, a sword or other weapon.
  • noun One who or that which is made a means to some end; especially, a person so used; a mere instrument to execute the purpose of another; a cat's-paw.
  • noun A useless or shiftless fellow.
  • noun A figure or ornament impressed upon the cover of a book by means of a binders' stamp or tool.
  • noun Synonyms Implement, Instrument, Tool, Utensil. An implement is whatever may supply a want or a requisite to an end; it is always regarded in reference to its particular use: as, agricultural implements; implements of war. An instrument is anything which is employed in doing work or producing a certain result: as, surgical, mathematical, musical instruments, A tool is something less specific than an implement, and, when used physically, is one of the smaller implements of a mechanic art, such as can be worked by the hand: as, gardeners' tools; joiners' tools. A utensil is literally something to be used; the word has by usage become restricted to articles of domestic and farming use. In figurative use instrument is generally employed in a good sense, but tool in a dishonorable and contemptuous sense: we speak of a man as the instrument of Providence, or as a mere tool of cunning men. Formerly implement had a figurative sense.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An instrument such as a hammer, saw, plane, file, and the like, used in the manual arts, to facilitate mechanical operations; any instrument used by a craftsman or laborer at his work; an implement; ; also, a cutter, chisel, or other part of an instrument or machine that dresses work.
  • noun A machine for cutting or shaping materials; -- also called machine tool.
  • noun Hence, any instrument of use or service.
  • noun obsolete A weapon.
  • noun A person used as an instrument by another person; -- a word of reproach.
  • intransitive verb colloq. To travel in a vehicle; to ride or drive.
  • transitive verb To shape, form, or finish with a tool.
  • transitive verb Slang, Eng. To drive, as a coach.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A mechanical device intended to make a task easier
  • noun equipment used in a profession, e.g., tools of the trade
  • noun Something to perform an operation; an instrument; a means
  • noun computing A piece of software used to develop software or hardware, or to perform low-level operations.
  • noun A person or group which is used or controlled, usually unwittingly, by another person or group
  • noun slang Penis.
  • noun by extension, slang, pejorative an obnoxious or uptight person
  • verb transitive To work on or shape with tools, e.g., hand-tooled leather.
  • verb transitive To equip with tools.
  • verb transitive To work very hard.
  • verb transitive, slang To put down another person (possibly in a subtle, hidden way), and in that way to use him or her to meet a goal.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English tōl, possibly from Old Norse.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English tool, from Old English tōl ("tool, implement, instrument", literally "that with which one prepares something"), from Proto-Germanic *tōlan (“tool”), from Proto-Indo-European *dewǝ- (“to tie to, secure”), equivalent to taw (“to prepare”) +‎ -le (agent suffix). Cognate with Scots tuil ("tool, implement, instrument, device"), Icelandic tól ("tool"), Faroese tól ("tool, instrument"). Related to Old English tāwian ("to make, prepare, or cultivate"); see taw, and tow ("fibres used for spinning").

Examples

  • Much as a shuttle is a tool for separating threads, a name is a ˜tool for instructing by separating being™ (388b-c).

    Plato's Cratylus

  • This is a good tool just to find the overall popularity of a term you can also try this tool~

    Webmaster Forum

  • Did You Know? of marketing of Fortune professionals 500 use some increased sort of social social media social media media tool media tool** spend in 2009** CareerBuilder Internal statistics, June 2009, ** University of Mass.,

    Recently Uploaded Slideshows

  • As you may have gathered, Microsoft's built-in tool is not very powerful, so you're probably better off using a third-party option such as Acronis Disk Director 11 Home or one of the free programs, Partition Wizard Home Edition or EaseUs Partition Master 6.1.1 Home Edition.

    When your C: drive is full and D: is still empty…

  • The problem with forest fires as a terrorist tool is they do not look spectacular on TV which is the main tool they are interested in.

    Terrorist Forest Fires? - Freakonomics Blog - NYTimes.com

  • A space where the main tool is ingenuity, where projects are executed without means or intermediaries.

    Archive 2007-02-01

  • A space where the main tool is ingenuity, where projects are executed without means or intermediaries.

    Urinating at the Eisenman

  • Hezbollah strongly denies involvement in the 2005 killing and has questioned the credibility of the U.N. tribunal, which it calls a tool of the Americans and the Israelis.

    In Lebanon, Hezbollah gets support of Druze leader

  • Hezbollah strongly denies involvement in the 2005 killing and has questioned the credibility of the U.N. tribunal, which it calls a tool of the Americans and the Israelis.

    In Lebanon, Hezbollah gets support of Druze leader

  • Hezbollah strongly denies involvement in the 2005 killings and has questioned the credibility of the U.N. tribunal, which it calls a tool of the Americans and the Israelis.

    Hezbollah-backed candidate in line to become Lebanon's new prime minister

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Loot in reverse.

    July 22, 2007

  • 'Quite the most maudlin man I've ever met

    told me this in the lounge of the Colliers:

    "It's many years ago now but, oh God!,

    I can still feel her hand rubbing my tool

    as she drove slowly down the pleached-hedged lane..."'

    - Peter Reading, C, 1984

    July 4, 2008