Definition of pencil noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈpensl//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈpensl//
Art equipment
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  [countable, uncountable] a narrow piece of wood, or a metal or plastic case, containing a black or coloured substance, used for drawing or writing a pencil drawing I'll get a pencil and paper. She scribbled a note in pencil. coloured pencils margin notes in pencil see also eyebrow pencil, propelling pencil See related entries: Art equipment Word OriginMiddle English (denoting a fine paintbrush): from Old French pincel, from a diminutive of Latin peniculus ‘brush’, diminutive of penis ‘tail’. The verb was originally (early 16th cent.) in the sense ‘paint with a fine brush’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: pencil