Meaning of “pencil” in the English Dictionary

"pencil" in English

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pencilnoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈpen.səl/ us /ˈpen.səl/

A1 a long, thin object, usually made of wood, for writing or drawing, with a sharp black or coloured point at one end:

a box of coloured pencils
pens and pencils
He sat with his pencil poised, ready to take notes.
The pencil's blunt - you'd better sharpen it (= make its point sharp).
Write your comments in the margin in (= using) pencil.
a pencil sharpener

the form of some types of make-up:

an eyebrow pencil
a lip pencil

literary a thin beam of light:

A pencil of light showed as the door opened slightly.

More examples

  • Please write in ink, not in pencil.
  • It's in pencil, so you can rub it out if you need to.
  • My pencil is blunt - I'll have to sharpen it.
  • If you spot any mistakes in the article just mark them with a pencil.
  • Are there enough pencils to go round?

penciladjective [ before noun ]

uk /ˈpen.səl/ us /ˈpen.səl/

pencilverb [ T ]

uk /ˈpen.səl/ us /ˈpen.səl/ -ll- or US usually -l-
adjective US usually penciled uk /ˈpen.səld/ us /ˈpen.səld/

pencilled comments/notes

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “pencil” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"pencil" in American English

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pencilnoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈpen·səl/

a thin, usually wooden, tube-shaped device for writing or drawing which has colored material in the center and a point at one end:

[ C ] colored pencils
[ U ] Make your corrections in pencil (= using a pencil).

(Definition of “pencil” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)