chip off the old block


1 [chip]
a small, slender piece, as of wood, separated by chopping, cutting, or breaking.
a very thin slice or small piece of food, candy, etc.: chocolate chips.
a mark or flaw made by the breaking off or gouging out of a small piece: This glass has a chip.
any of the small round disks, usually of plastic or ivory, used as tokens for money in certain gambling games, as roulette or poker; counter.
Also called microchip. Electronics. a tiny slice of semiconducting material, generally in the shape of a square a few millimeters long, cut from a larger wafer of the material, on which a transistor or an entire integrated circuit is formed. Compare microprocessor.
a small cut or uncut piece of a diamond or crystal.
anything trivial or worthless.
something dried up or without flavor.
a piece of dried dung: buffalo chips.
wood, straw, etc., in thin strips for weaving into hats, baskets, etc.
Golf. chip shot.
Tennis. a softly sliced return shot with heavy backspin.
the strip of material removed by a recording stylus as it cuts the grooves in a record.
chips, Chiefly British. French fries.
verb (used with object), chipped, chipping.
to hew or cut with an ax, chisel, etc.
to cut, break off, or gouge out (bits or fragments): He chipped a few pieces of ice from the large cube.
to disfigure by breaking off a fragment: to chip the edge of a saucer.
to shape or produce by cutting or flaking away pieces: to chip a figure out of wood.
Games. to bet by means of chips, as in poker.
Tennis. to slice (a ball) on a return shot, causing it to have heavy backspin.
Slang. to take (a narcotic drug) occasionally, especially only in sufficient quantity to achieve a mild euphoria.
Chiefly British Sports. to hit or kick (a ball) a short distance forward.
British Slang. to jeer or criticize severely; deride; taunt.
Australian. to hoe; harrow.
verb (used without object), chipped, chipping.
to break off in small pieces.
Golf. to make a chip shot.
Verb phrases
chip in,
to contribute money or assistance; participate.
Games. to bet a chip or chips, as in poker.
to interrupt a conversation to say something; butt in: We all chipped in with our suggestions for the reunion.
chip off the old block, a person who resembles one parent in appearance or behavior: His son is just a chip off the old block.
chip on one's shoulder, a disposition to quarrel: You will never make friends if you go around with a chip on your shoulder.
in the chips, Slang. wealthy; rich: Don't look down on your old friends now that you're in the chips.
when the chips are down, in a discouraging or disadvantageous situation; in bad or pressing times: When the chips are down he proves to be a loyal friend.

1300–50; (noun) Middle English chip (compare Old English cipp plowshare, beam, i.e., piece cut off); (v.) late Middle English chippen (compare Old English -cippian in forcippian to cut off); akin to Middle Low German, Middle Dutch kippen to chip eggs, hatch

chippable, adjective
unchippable, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
chip (tʃɪp)
1.  a small piece removed by chopping, cutting, or breaking
2.  a mark left after a small piece has been chopped, cut, or broken off something
3.  (in some games) a counter used to represent money
4.  a thin strip of potato fried in deep fat
5.  (US), (Canadian) Also called (in Britain and certain other countries): crisp a very thin slice of potato fried and eaten cold as a snack
6.  a small piece or thin slice of food
7.  sport a shot, kick, etc, lofted into the air, esp over an obstacle or an opposing player's head, and travelling only a short distance
8.  electronics a tiny wafer of semiconductor material, such as silicon, processed to form a type of integrated circuit or component such as a transistor
9.  a thin strip of wood or straw used for making woven hats, baskets, etc
10.  (NZ) a container for soft fruit, made of thin sheets of wood; punnet
11.  informal (Brit) cheap as chips inexpensive; good value
12.  informal chip off the old block a person who resembles one of his or her parents in behaviour
13.  informal have a chip on one's shoulder to be aggressively sensitive about a particular thing or bear a grudge
14.  informal (Brit) have had one's chips to be defeated, condemned to die, killed, etc
15.  informal when the chips are down at a time of crisis or testing
vb , chips, chipping, chipped
16.  to break small pieces from or become broken off in small pieces: will the paint chip?
17.  (tr) to break or cut into small pieces: to chip ice
18.  (tr) to shape by chipping
19.  sport to strike or kick (a ball) in a high arc
[Old English cipp (n), cippian (vb), of obscure origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. forcippian "to pare away by cutting," v. form of cipp "small piece of wood," perhaps from PIE base *keipo- "sharp post" (cf. Du. kip "small strip of wood," L. cippus "post, stake, beam"). Sense of "break off fragments" is 18c. Noun is attested by early 14c.; meaning "counter used in a game of chance"
is first recorded 1840; electronics sense is from 1962. Used for thin slices of foodstuffs (originally fruit) since 1769; specific ref. to potatoes is from 1859 (in "A Tale of Two Cities"); potato chip is attested by 1886. Meaning "piece of dried dung" first attested 1846. To chip in "contribute" (1861) may come from card-playing. Potato chip is 1859. Chip of the old block is used by Milton (1642); earlier form was chip of the same block (1621); more common modern phrase with off in place of of is early 20c. To have a chip on one's shoulder is from at least 1820s, U.S., from the custom of a boy determined to fight putting a chip on his shoulder and defying another to knock it off. Chip in "contribute" is 1861, Amer.Eng.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
chip   (chĭp)  Pronunciation Key 
See integrated circuit.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

chip off the old block definition

An expression used of people who closely resemble their parents in some way: “Mark just won the same sailboat race his father won twenty years ago; he's a chip off the old block.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
Community Health Information Partnerships
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

chip off the old block

A person who closely resembles a parent, as in Like her mother, Karen has very little patiencea chip off the old block. This term, with its analogy to a chip of stone or wood that closely resembles the larger block it was cut from, dates from ancient times (Theocritus, Idyls, c. 270 b.c.). In English it was already a proverb by the 17th century, then often put as chip of the old block.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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