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pestle Syllabification: pes·tle
Pronunciation: /ˈpestl/

Definition of pestle in English:


1A heavy tool with a rounded end, used for crushing and grinding substances such as spices or drugs, usually in a mortar.
Example sentences
  • And I used cardamom seeds that I crushed in my pestle and mortar, rather than ready-ground.
  • With a mortar and pestle, crush the thyme, garlic, and peppercorns and place in a large saucepan.
  • In indigenous villages, women often make the tortillas the traditional way by grinding corn with a rounded pestle on a flat lava stone called a piedra or metate.
1.1A mechanical device for grinding, pounding, or stamping something.
Example sentences
  • The homogenate was further macerated with quartz sand (at a ratio of quartz sand to denaturing solution of 16.7-33.3 mg ml - 1) in a mortar with a pestle in a draft chamber.
  • The dolomite powder was milled in a mechanical mortar and pestle for several hours, resulting in an average grain size of about 2 ìm.


[with object] Back to top  
Crush or grind (a substance such as a spice or drug) with a pestle: she measured seeds into the mortar and pestled them to powder
More example sentences
  • When well done, sticky rice is placed in mortar to pestle.
  • So then I fried the bacon until impossibly crisp, crumbled some on my salad, placed the rest in a mortar and proceeded to pestle the remainder.


Middle English: from Old French pestel, from Latin pistillum, from pist- 'pounded', from the verb pinsere.

  • piston from early 18th century:

    The Latin pistullum meant pestle (Middle English) and is the source of the botanical pistil (early 18th century) from its similar shape. From the same source Italian formed pestone for a large pestle or rammer, and this, via French, is the source of piston.

Words that rhyme with pestle

Bessel, nestle, redressal, trestle, vessel, wrestle
Definition of pestle in:
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