work or markings done with or as if with a pencil or brush, especially fine or delicate work done with a pencil or brush on a painting or drawing.
a drawing or sketch made with a pencil.

1700–10; pencil + -ing1 Unabridged


a slender tube of wood, metal, plastic, etc., containing a core or strip of graphite, a solid coloring material, or the like, used for writing or drawing.
a stick of cosmetic coloring material for use on the eyebrows, eyelids, etc.
anything shaped or used like a pencil, as a stick of medicated material: a styptic pencil.
a narrow set of lines, light rays, or the like, diverging from or converging to a point: a pencil of sunlight.
a slender, pointed piece of a substance used for marking.
style or skill in drawing or delineation: He favored the late products of the artist's pencil.
Mathematics. the collection of lines, planes, or surfaces passing through a given point or set of points and satisfying a given equation or condition.
Archaic. an artist's paintbrush, especially for fine work.
verb (used with object), penciled, penciling or (especially British) pencilled, pencilling.
to write, draw, mark, or color with, or as if with, a pencil.
to use a pencil on.
Verb phrases
pencil in, to schedule or list tentatively, as or as if by writing down in pencil rather than in ink: I'll pencil you in for ten o'clock.

1350–1400; Middle English pencel < Middle French pincelLatin pēnicillus painter's brush or pencil, diminutive of pēniculus little tail. See penis, -cule1

penciler; especially British, penciller, noun
pencillike, adjective
unpenciled, adjective
unpencilled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pencil (ˈpɛnsəl)
1.  a.  a thin cylindrical instrument used for writing, drawing, etc, consisting of a rod of graphite or other marking substance, usually either encased in wood and sharpened or held in a mechanical metal device
 b.  (as modifier): a pencil drawing
2.  something similar in shape or function: a styptic pencil; an eyebrow pencil
3.  a narrow set of lines or rays, such as light rays, diverging from or converging to a point
4.  archaic an artist's fine paintbrush
5.  rare an artist's individual style or technique in drawing
vb , -cils, -cilling, -cilled, -cils, -ciling, -ciled
6.  to draw, colour, or write with a pencil
7.  to mark with a pencil
8.  pencil in to note, arrange, include, etc provisionally or tentatively
[C14: from Old French pincel, from Latin pēnicillus painter's brush, from pēniculus a little tail, from pēnis tail]

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

late 14c., "an artist's fine brush of camel hair," from O.Fr. pincel "artist's paintbrush" (Fr. pinceau), from L. penicillus "paintbrush, pencil," lit. "little tail," dim. of peniculus "brush," itself a dim. of penis "tail" (see penis). Small brushes formerly used for writing
before modern lead or chalk pencils; meaning "graphite writing implement" apparently evolved late 16c. Derogatory slang pencil-pusher "office worker" is from 1881; pencil neck "weak person" first recorded 1973. To pencil (something) in "arrange tentatively" is attested from 1942.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Penciling is a purely decorative, painted surface treatment over a mortar joint, often in a contrasting color.
People were already penciling in it's premiere date nearly a full year away by that point.
Penciling in time for sleep can help you get to bed earlier.
The carefully to led joints preserve traces of original penciling.
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