From Middle English anfilt, anvelt, anfelt, from late Old English anfilt, anfilte, anfealt, from earlier onfilti (“anvil”), from Proto-Germanic *anafeltaz (compare Middle Dutch anvilte, Low German Anfilts, Anefilt, Old High German anafalz), compound of *ana (“on”) + *feltaz (“beaten”) (compare German falzen (“to groove, fold, welt”), Swedish dialect filta (“to beat”)), from Proto-Indo-European *pelh₂-t- (“shaken, beaten”) (compare Old Irish lethar (“leather”), Latin pellō (“to beat, strike”), Ancient Greek πάλλω (pállō, “to toss, brandish”)), enlargement of Proto-Indo-European *pelh₂- (“to stir, move”). More at felon.
anvil (plural anvils)
- A heavy iron block used in the blacksmithing trade as a surface upon which metal can be struck and shaped.
- (anatomy) An incus bone in the inner ear.
- A stone or other hard surface used by a bird for breaking the shells of snails.