9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[too-ling] /ˈtu lɪŋ/
work done with a tool or tools; tooled ornamentation, as on wood, stone, or leather.
  1. a number of tools, as in a particular factory.
  2. the planning and arrangement of tools for a particular manufacturing process.
Origin of tooling
1665-75; tool + -ing1


[tool] /tul/
an implement, especially one held in the hand, as a hammer, saw, or file, for performing or facilitating mechanical operations.
any instrument of manual operation.
the cutting or machining part of a lathe, planer, drill, or similar machine.
the machine itself; a machine tool.
anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose:
Education is a tool for success.
a person manipulated by another for the latter's own ends; cat's-paw.
the design or ornament impressed upon the cover of a book.
Underworld Slang.
  1. a pistol or gun.
  2. a pickpocket.
Slang: Vulgar. penis.
verb (used with object)
to work or shape with a tool.
to work decoratively with a hand tool.
to ornament (the cover of a book) with a bookbinder's tool.
to drive (a vehicle):
He tooled the car along the treacherous path.
to equip with tools or machinery.
verb (used without object)
to work with a tool.
to drive or ride in a vehicle:
tooling along the freeway.
Verb phrases
tool up, to install machinery designed for performing a particular job:
manufacturers tooling up for production.
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
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tooling
  • Part of the fun of tooling around the community is the mixture of high and low architecture and design.
  • tooling around as a beloved icon in an enchanting place is as addictive as good gelato.
  • tooling around town with a controversial slogan on the back of the car may be taken as a form of aggressive behaviour.
  • It was to use more lightweight and expensive aluminum than usual and, by the way, be bigger than the tooling would accommodate.
  • He acknowledged, though, that it would turn into a loss if you figured in the cost of the car's development and tooling.
  • The investments will support tooling and equipment upgrades.
  • Tearing up a factory and re-tooling the line is a major expense.
  • It may seem surprising, but highway driving puts less stress on a car that tooling around locally.
  • The next phase of the design process includes digitizing it for tooling and engineering studies.
  • But escape is still possible by climbing out a window onto a rose trellis and tooling around in a tiny electric car.
British Dictionary definitions for tooling


any decorative work done with a tool, esp a design stamped onto a book cover, piece of leatherwork, etc
the selection, provision, and setting up of tools, esp for a machining operation


  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
the cutting part of such an instrument
  1. any of the instruments used by a bookbinder to impress a design on a book cover
  2. a design so impressed
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
a person used to perform dishonourable or unpleasant tasks for another
a necessary medium for or adjunct to one's profession: numbers are the tools of the mathematician's trade
(slang) another word for penis
(Brit) an underworld slang word for gun
to work, cut, shape, or form (something) with a tool or tools
(transitive) to decorate (a book cover) with a bookbinder's tool
(transitive) often foll by up. to furnish with tools
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 tooling



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.


"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 tooling

too hot to handle

adjective phrase

Very delicate or explosive; very controversial: The March was rejected by PBS as ''not suitable to their programming'' (nobody actually said it was too hot to handle)

[1940s+; found in baseball by 1932, designating a very hard-hit ball]

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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