English edit

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Selection of colored pencils.

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Etymology edit

From Anglo-Norman and Old French pincil (see the variant pincel, which gave rise to Modern French pinceau (paintbrush)), from Latin pēnicillum, diminutive of pēniculus (brush), itself a diminutive of pēnis (tail; penis). Not related to pen.

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Noun edit

pencil (plural pencils)

  1. (now chiefly historical) A paintbrush. [from 14th c.]
  2. A writing utensil with a graphite (commonly referred to as lead) shaft, usually blended with clay, clad in wood, and sharpened to a taper. [from 16th c.]
  3. (optics) An aggregate or collection of rays of light, especially when diverging from, or converging to, a point. [from 17th c.]
  4. (geometry) A family of geometric objects with a common property, such as the set of lines that pass through a given point in a projective plane. [from 19th c.]
    • 1863, The Civil Engineer and Architect's Journal:
      When, by the pencil becoming oblique to the surface, the vergency produced on the pencil becomes changed, the primary and secondary focal points, V and H, separate []
    • 2012, G. E. Martin, The Foundations of Geometry and the Non-Euclidean Plane, page 357:
      Let l and m be two hyperparallel lines. All the transversals to l and m that form congruent corresponding angles with l and m lie in a pencil.
  5. (medicine, obsolete, rare) A small medicated bougie. [19th c.]
  6. (gambling) Ellipsis of power of the pencil.
    • 1978, Mario Puzo, Fools Die:
      And most important of all, Cully now had 'The Pencil', that most coveted of Las Vegas powers.

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Verb edit

pencil (third-person singular simple present pencils, present participle (UK) pencilling or (US) penciling, simple past and past participle (UK) pencilled or (US) penciled)

  1. (transitive) To write (something) using a pencil.
    I penciled (BrE: pencilled) a brief reminder in my notebook.
    • 1888, Thomas Hardy, “An Imaginative Woman”, in Wessex Tales:
      She had hardly got back when she encountered a piece by Robert Trewe in the new number of her favourite magazine, which must have been written almost immediately before her visit to Solentsea, for it contained the very couplet she had seen pencilled on the wallpaper by the bed, and Mrs. Hooper had declared to be recent.
  2. (transitive) To mark with, or as if with, a pencil.
    • 1852, The Ark, and Odd Fellows' Western Magazine:
      It pencilled each flower with rich and variegated hues, and threw over its exuberant foliage a vesture of emerald green.

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Malay edit

Adjective edit

pĕncil (Jawi spelling ڤنچيل)

  1. to be isolated, separated

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