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tool

[tool] /tul/
noun
1.
an implement, especially one held in the hand, as a hammer, saw, or file, for performing or facilitating mechanical operations.
2.
any instrument of manual operation.
3.
the cutting or machining part of a lathe, planer, drill, or similar machine.
4.
the machine itself; a machine tool.
5.
anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose:
Education is a tool for success.
6.
a person manipulated by another for the latter's own ends; cat's-paw.
7.
the design or ornament impressed upon the cover of a book.
8.
Underworld Slang.
  1. a pistol or gun.
  2. a pickpocket.
9.
Slang: Vulgar. penis.
verb (used with object)
10.
to work or shape with a tool.
11.
to work decoratively with a hand tool.
12.
to ornament (the cover of a book) with a bookbinder's tool.
13.
to drive (a vehicle):
He tooled the car along the treacherous path.
14.
to equip with tools or machinery.
verb (used without object)
15.
to work with a tool.
16.
to drive or ride in a vehicle:
tooling along the freeway.
Verb phrases
17.
tool up, to install machinery designed for performing a particular job:
manufacturers tooling up for production.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English (noun); Old English tōl; cognate with Old Norse tōl tools; akin to taw2
Related forms
tooler, noun
toolless, adjective
multitool, noun
untooled, adjective
Synonyms
1. T ool , implement , instrument , utensil refer to contrivances for doing work. A tool is a contrivance held in and worked by the hand, for assisting the work of (especially) mechanics or laborers: a carpenter's tools. An implement is any tool or contrivance designed or used for a particular purpose: agricultural implements. An instrument is anything used in doing a certain work or producing a certain result, especially such as requires delicacy, accuracy, or precision: surgical or musical instruments. A utensil is especially an article for domestic use: kitchen utensils. When used figuratively of human agency, tool is generally used in a contemptuous sense; instrument , in a neutral or good sense: a tool of unscrupulous men; an instrument of Providence.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for tool
  • Click on the drawing tools tab and then the free-form line tool.
  • But, as often in finance, an instrument designed for insurance became a tool for speculators.
  • tool exists to disprove every tenet of record-label rock marketing.
  • Regardless of the tool or set of tools that you use, be sure your communication plan is clear to your students.
  • The air tool with the nearest thing to a motor inside it is an impact wrench.
  • She will be gripping a stone tool and lumbering along with a dead antelope on her back.
  • So, even if our ancestors were avid tool users, they weren't all that fond of adopting new technology.
  • More employers are using internships as a recruiting tool.
  • It's an evaluation tool built into planning so that everything is prioritized and justified.
  • Ask them how tool use by chimps differs from tool use by humans.
British Dictionary definitions for tool

tool

/tuːl/
noun
1.
  1. an implement, such as a hammer, saw, or spade, that is used by hand
  2. a power-driven instrument; machine tool
  3. (in combination): a toolkit
2.
the cutting part of such an instrument
3.
  1. any of the instruments used by a bookbinder to impress a design on a book cover
  2. a design so impressed
4.
anything used as a means of performing an operation or achieving an end: he used his boss's absence as a tool for gaining influence
5.
a person used to perform dishonourable or unpleasant tasks for another
6.
a necessary medium for or adjunct to one's profession: numbers are the tools of the mathematician's trade
7.
(slang) another word for penis
8.
(Brit) an underworld slang word for gun
verb
9.
to work, cut, shape, or form (something) with a tool or tools
10.
(transitive) to decorate (a book cover) with a bookbinder's tool
11.
(transitive) often foll by up. to furnish with tools
12.
when intr, often foll by along. to drive (a vehicle) or (of a vehicle) to be driven, esp in a leisurely or casual style
Derived Forms
tooler, noun
tool-less, adjective
Word Origin
Old English tōl; related to Old Norse tōl weapon, Old English tawian to prepare; see taw²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tool
n.

Old English tol "instrument, implement," from Proto-Germanic *tolan (cf. Old Norse tol), from a verb stem represented by Old English tawian "prepare." The ending is the instrumental suffix -l (e.g. shovel). Figurative sense of "person used by another for his own ends" is recorded from 1660s. Slang meaning "penis" first recorded 1550s.

v.

"to drive a vehicle," 1812, probably from tool (n.). The meaning "to work or shape with a tool" is recorded from 1815; that of "equip (a factory) with machine tools" is from 1927. Related: Tooled; tooling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for tool

tool

noun
  1. The penis (1553+)
  2. A pickpocket (1920+ Underworld)
  3. (also dull tool) An incompetent person; also, someone who can be duped or victimized easily (1700+)
  4. A diligent student; Greasy Grind, nerd: Nerds can also be ''goobs'' or ''tools'' (Students)
verb
  1. To do the sex act with or to; boff, bop, screw: Hit the man in the ass with a board while he was tooling your old lady (1980s+)
  2. (also tool along) To speed; barrel: I climbed into the Buick and tooled it down the ramp (1853+)

[underworld sense perhaps fr the practice of using a small boy as a sort of tool in pickpocketing, or perhaps fr Romany tool, ''handle, take''; second verb sense fr earlier tool, ''a whip'']


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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tool in Technology


1. A program used primarily to create, manipulate, modify, or analyse other programs, such as a compiler or an editor or a cross-referencing program. Opposite: app, operating system.
2. A Unix application program with a simple, "transparent" (typically text-stream) interface designed specifically to be used in programmed combination with other tools (see filter, plumbing).
3. (MIT: general to students there) To work; to study (connotes tedium). The TMRC Dictionary defined this as "to set one's brain to the grindstone". See hack.
4. (MIT) A student who studies too much and hacks too little. MIT's student humour magazine rejoices in the name "Tool and Die".
[Jargon File]
(1996-12-12)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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