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

  • n. A device, such as a saw, used to perform or facilitate manual or mechanical work.
  • n. A machine, such as a lathe, used to cut and shape machine parts or other objects.
  • n. The cutting part of such a machine.
  • n. Something regarded as necessary to the carrying out of one's occupation or profession: Words are the tools of our trade.
  • n. Something used in the performance of an operation; an instrument: "Modern democracies have the fiscal and monetary tools . . . to end chronic slumps and galloping inflations” ( Paul A. Samuelson).
  • n. Vulgar Slang A penis.
  • n. A person used to carry out the designs of another; a dupe.
  • n. A bookbinder's hand stamp.
  • n. A design impressed on a book cover by such a stamp.
  • n. Computer Science An application program, often one that creates, manipulates, modifies, or analyzes other programs.
  • transitive v. To form, work, or decorate with a tool.
  • transitive v. To ornament (a book cover) with a bookbinder's tool.
  • transitive v. Slang To drive (a vehicle): tooled the car at 80 miles an hour.
  • intransitive v. To work with a tool.
  • intransitive v. Slang To drive or ride in a vehicle: tooled up and down the roads.
  • tool up To provide an industry or a factory with machinery and tools suitable for a particular job.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mechanical device intended to make a task easier
  • n. equipment used in a profession, e.g., tools of the trade
  • n. Something to perform an operation; an instrument; a means
  • n. A piece of software used to develop software or hardware, or to perform low-level operations.
  • n. A person or group which is used or controlled, usually unwittingly, by another person or group
  • n. Penis.
  • n. an obnoxious or uptight person
  • v. To work on or shape with tools, e.g., hand-tooled leather.
  • v. To equip with tools.
  • v. To work very hard.
  • v. To put down another person (possibly in a subtle, hidden way), and in that way to use him or her to meet a goal.
  • v. To intentionally attack the ball so that it deflects off a blocker out of bounds.
  • v. To drive (a coach, etc.)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.
  • n. A machine for cutting or shaping materials; -- also called machine tool.
  • n. Hence, any instrument of use or service.
  • n. A weapon.
  • n. A person used as an instrument by another person; -- a word of reproach.
  • intransitive v. To travel in a vehicle; to ride or drive.
  • transitive v. To shape, form, or finish with a tool.
  • transitive v. To drive, as a coach.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • To drive, as a four-in-hand, mailcoach, racing-wagon, or other wheeled vehicle.
  • To draw in a vehicle.
  • To drive; ride.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A small round brush used by house-painters for painting moldings at the margins of panels, window-sashes, and narrow fillets.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A useless or shiftless fellow.
  • n. A figure or ornament impressed upon the cover of a book by means of a binders' stamp or tool.
  • n. 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. ride in a car with no particular goal and just for the pleasure of it
  • n. the means whereby some act is accomplished
  • v. drive
  • n. obscene terms for penis
  • n. an implement used in the practice of a vocation
  • v. furnish with tools
  • n. a person who is controlled by others and is used to perform unpleasant or dishonest tasks for someone else
  • v. work with a tool


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").


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  • '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

  • Loot in reverse.

    July 22, 2007