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pestle

[pes-uh l, pes-tl] /ˈpɛs əl, ˈpɛs tl/
noun
1.
a tool for pounding or grinding substances in a mortar.
2.
any of various appliances for pounding, stamping, etc.
verb (used with object), pestled, pestling.
3.
to pound or grind with or as if with a pestle.
verb (used without object), pestled, pestling.
4.
to work with a pestle.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English pestel < Middle French < Latin pistillum, derivative of pistus, past participle of pīnsere to pound, crush
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for pestle
  • The scientists mixed the contents using an old-fashioned mortar and pestle and rolled the pills to size.
  • Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.
  • The ingredients were combined using a traditional mortar and pestle, and then shaped into the early pill's typical size.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer two cups of the beans to a bowl and mash with the back of a wooden spoon or a pestle.
  • The dark blob of shadow at the top is from his large mortar and pestle sign.
  • It seems that the authors found a primitive system of pestle grinders, as well as flour grains.
  • Cindy has been busy pulverizing her oven-dried animal bits with a small mortar and pestle.
  • Grind fenugreek seeds in grinder or with mortar and pestle.
  • Pound nuts with garlic to a smooth paste using mortar and pestle.
  • Pound galangal, curry leaves, and fine sea salt to a paste using mortar and pestle.
British Dictionary definitions for pestle

pestle

/ˈpɛsəl/
noun
1.
a club-shaped instrument for mixing or grinding substances in a mortar
2.
a tool for pounding or stamping
verb
3.
to pound (a substance or object) with or as if with a pestle
Word Origin
C14: from Old French pestel, from Latin pistillum; related to pinsāre to crush
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 pestle
n.

mid-14c. (as a surname late 13c.), from Old French pestel, from Latin pistillum "pounder, pestle," related to pinsere "to pound," from PIE *pis-to-, suffixed form of root *peis- "to crush" (cf. Sanskrit pinasti "pounds, crushes," pistah "anything ground, meal," Greek ptissein "to winnow," Old Church Slavonic pišo, pichati "to push, thrust, strike," pišenica "wheat," Russian pseno "millet").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pestle in Medicine

pestle pes·tle (pěs'əl, pěs'təl)
n.
A club-shaped, hand-held tool for grinding or mashing substances in a mortar.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for pestle

mortar and pestle

ancient device for milling by pounding. Together with the saddle quern (a round stone rolled or rubbed on a flat stone bed), it was the first means known for grinding grain; the grain was placed in a shallow depression in a stone, the mortar, and pounded with a rodlike stone, the pestle. Refined versions of the mortar and pestle have continued to find use in kitchens for preparing pastes and other finely ground elements of cuisine, in pharmacy for preparing medicines, and in chemical laboratories.

Learn more about mortar and pestle with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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