• IPA: /ˈpɛnsəl/
  • (also) (RP) IPA: /ˈpɛnsɪl/

pencil (plural pencils)

  1. A writing utensil with a graphite (commonly referred to as lead) shaft, usually blended with clay, clad in wood, and sharpened to a taper.
  2. (obsolete) A paintbrush.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.0:
      But living art may not least part expresse, / Nor life-resembling pencill it can paynt […].
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 17, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book II, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      why is it not lawfull for every man to pourtray himself with his pen, as it was for him to doe it with a pensell?
  3. (geometry) A family of geometric objects with a common property, such as the set of lines that pass through a given point in a projective plane.
  4. (optics) An aggregate or collection of rays of light, especially when diverging from, or converging to, a point.
    • 1863, The Civil Engineer and Architect's Journal
      When, by the pencil becoming oblique to the surface, the vergency produced on the pencil becomes changed, the primary and secondary focal points, V and H, separate […]
  5. (medicine, archaic) A small medicated bougie.
Translations Translations Verb

pencil (pencils, present participle pencilling; past and past participle pencilled)

  1. (transitive) To write (something) using a pencil.
    I penciled (BrE: pencilled) a brief reminder in my notebook.
  2. (transitive) To mark with, or as if with, a pencil.
    • 1852, The Ark, and Odd Fellows' Western Magazine
      It pencilled each flower with rich and variegated hues, and threw over its exuberant foliage a vesture of emerald green.

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