Definition of chip in English:


Syllabification: chip
Pronunciation: /CHip


  • 1A small piece of something removed in the course of chopping, cutting, or breaking something, especially a hard material such as wood or stone: mulch the shrubs with cedar chips
    More example sentences
    • Jabbing at the wood, they remove chips three to six inches tong.
    • Nests are lined with bark chips or wood shavings or are a shallow cup made of roots, leaves and other plant fibers.
    • The landowner gets quick cash, the company gets wood for chips, and workers at local sawmills get laid off.
  • 1.1A hole or mark on a hard object or surface where a small piece has broken of: a chip on his tooth
    More example sentences
    • There were no obvious tool marks, chips or defects, and the finish was perfectly consistent down to the sudden transition at the base of every fold.
    • If you're not prepared to rigorously keep up that pristine appearance, then the ensuing scuff marks, chips and cracks are sadly all too obvious.
    • It's a good way to discover scratches, chips and dents early.
    nick, crack, scratch, notch; flaw, fault
  • 1.2British Wood or woody fiber split into thin strips and used for weaving hats or baskets.
    More example sentences
    • I also found a nice handmade chip basket in different colored wood.
  • 2North American A thin slice of food made crisp by being fried, baked, or dried and typically eaten as a snack: tortilla chips dipped in salsa banana chips
    More example sentences
    • I chuckled to myself and dipped another warm chip into the salsa.
    • The students brought every kind of chip, dip and snack imaginable to make their last day a memorable feast.
    • He smiled and returned the kiss before taking another chip and dipping it in the salsa.
  • 2.1A small chunk of candy added to desserts or sweet snacks, especially of chocolate.
    More example sentences
    • She decided on two ice creams; one chocolate and one mint chip.
    • They all have pink frosting, but the insides are all different flavors, chocolate, cherry chip, black forest, whatever.
    • I made another one of those apricot and coconut and chocolate chip cakes and gave a big chunk of it to the boy's mum.
  • 2.2 (chips) chiefly British French fries: an order of fish and chips
    More example sentences
    • School heads have blamed the presence of chip vans and fast food shops for leading youngsters away from canteens at lunchtime.
    • Veggie sticks - when stacked into a fast food restaurant chip holder, they look like chips but they are so much healthier!
    • To test whether the oil is hot enough, dip a chip into the oil and watch.
  • 3 short for microchip.
    More example sentences
    • You find semiconductors at the heart of microprocessor chips as well as transistors.
    • Current integrated circuits, or computer chips, contain about 100 million transistors each.
    • The paper describes the proper structure for a new kind of metal electrode to accompany novel insulating materials in transistors on computer chips.
  • 4A counter used in certain gambling games to represent money: a poker chip
    More example sentences
    • That was a mercenary term for a poker game with fake chips, one just played for relaxation.
    • I thought maybe he'd taken a sudden interest in sewing but no - he intends to use them as gambling chips for poker games over at the other hotel.
    • A poker player with lots of chips can force the game.
    counter, token, check
  • 5(In golf, soccer, and other sports) a short lofted kick or shot with the ball.
    More example sentences
    • More often than not you'll leave the next shot short with your chip or putt, and you'll probably be long with the next.
    • He hit a poor tee shot, required two chips to find the green and then two-putted from 10 feet.
    • If a player gets too aggressive on a downhill putt on one of those greens, his next shot could be a chip or a pitch from the fairway.
  • 5.1 Tennis A softly sliced return intended to land between the net and the opponent’s service line.

verb (chips, chipping, chipped)

[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Cut or break (a small piece) from the edge or surface of a hard material: we had to chip ice off the upper deck
    More example sentences
    • A small hand shovel was leaning against the dirt wall in front of him and Eron picked it up and began chipping away portions of the wall.
    • That afternoon I'd chipped my own pieces off the Wall.
    • A second test involves chipping small sections of concrete from the floor in several areas.
    nick, crack, scratch; damage
  • 1.1 [no object] (Of a material or object) break at the edge or on the surface: the paint had chipped off the gate
    More example sentences
    • Bollards look unsightly with their paints all chipped off.
    • The lock had the appearance of a half - rusted mailbox; the wall it belonged to also owned a door with most of the paint chipped off.
    • Tables were overturned, the wood chipped off in jagged points with their legs snapped off and gnawed on.
    break (off), crack, crumble
  • 1.2Cut pieces off (a hard material) to alter its shape or break it up: it required a craftsman to chip the blocks of flint to the required shape [no object]: she chipped away at the ground outside the door
    More example sentences
    • This would be repeated until the rock was chipped down to the approximate size and shape of one of the few dozen letters in the flatumm alphabet.
    • Once cooled, the outer clay is chipped away and the carbonized core reamed out, with the casting filed and chased.
    • It took three or four weekends to chip enough stone for one weekend's block laying.
    whittle, hew, chisel, carve
  • 2(In golf, soccer, and other sports) kick or strike (a ball or shot) to produce a short lobbed shot or pass: he chipped a superb shot
    More example sentences
    • At the far end, Kanu shimmies outside the box, makes room for a shot and tries to chip the ball into the top left-hand corner.
    • The president was in the small putting green outside the Oval Office chipping golf balls and whining - he did this a lot - to his aides.
    • Beckham adroitly chips a dangerous ball into the box - who does he think he is, Zidane?


a chip off the old block

informal Someone who resembles his or her parent, especially in character.
More example sentences
  • And he's a brick, a chip off the old block, a good ‘un.
  • Daniel '71, Ph.D. '78 (early Islamic history), is what old-timers would call a chip off the old block.
  • Son has worked with father since his teens and, by all accounts, is definitely a chip off the old block for, like his dad, Chris is ‘a practical guy’.

a chip on one's shoulder

informal A deeply ingrained grievance or feeling of resentment, often deriving from a sense of inferiority and marked by aggressive behavior.
[from an old custom of placing a chip of wood on one's shoulder as a challenge to a rival: if the rival knocked the chip off they were agreeing to fight]
More example sentences
  • Savage, like many people who are motivated by hatred, has a chip on his shoulder as a failed academic rejected by liberal Berkeley.
  • I had a chip on my shoulder about the chips on other people's shoulders, and as so often with shoulder chips, the chips I perceived in others were often imagined or exaggerated.
  • I suppose you could grow up with a chip on your shoulder.

when the chips are down

informal When a very serious and difficult situation arises.
More example sentences
  • But when the chips are down (despite some pretty unlikely situations), their determination shines through.
  • And that in itself is another cause for satisfaction, another sign of a ‘team’ unified in its aim; when the chips are down and things aren't going their way they roll up their sleeves and dig in.
  • I learnt a lot about people and dignity when the chips are down and this started my interest in helping people plan their careers and achieve a measure of survivability.

Phrasal verbs

chip away

Gradually and relentlessly make something smaller or weaker: rivals may chip away at one’s profits by undercutting product prices
More example sentences
  • Raquel still stood stiffly, but the passion in his voice was gradually chipping away at her suspicions.
  • But over the match, Tranfield gradually chipped away at Nimmo's confidence and forced her to play long rallies.
  • Those are the people they're chipping away at now.

chip in (or chip something in)

Contribute something as one’s share of a joint activity, cost, etc.: the rookie pitcher chipped in with nine saves and five wins the council will chip in a further $30,000 a year
More example sentences
  • Enough revenue was chipped in, so to speak, to allow him to open a new restaurant on Second Avenue, where the food wasn't as sublime as its inspiration but was far more affordable.
  • Old songwriting hand Tom Morgan chips in, so does Ben Lee with two beauties, and Jellyfish's Jon Brion not only co-produces but co-writes five tracks.
  • Do it now and don't forget to fill out a gift aid declaration so that Uncle Gordon Brown chips in and increases your donation by 28%.
contribute, make a contribution, make a donation, pay
informal fork out, shell out, cough up, kick in


Middle English: related to Old English forcippian 'cut off'.

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elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody