Definition of tool in English:


Syllabification: tool
Pronunciation: /to͞ol


1A device or implement, especially one held in the hand, used to carry out a particular function: gardening tools
More example sentences
  • There will be exhibitors offering garden furniture, pots, wickerwork, gardening tools and implements old and new, wrought ironwork and various craft stalls.
  • The divers teamed up in groups of two or three, and each group carried with them cutting tools and lift bags.
  • Implements, tools, and equipment should be cleaned of soil and root debris before moving them to non-infested fields.
1.1A thing used in an occupation or pursuit: computers are an essential tool the ability to write clearly is a tool of the trade
More example sentences
  • Models and monitored performance are essential management tools.
  • It is not executive vanity, but a tool of the trade.
  • As with any occupation, professionals need the right tools to perform their jobs effectively.
1.2A person used or exploited by another: the beautiful Estella is Miss Havisham’s tool
More example sentences
  • He would follow instructions and became a tool to be exploited.
minion, lackey, instrument, organ
informal stooge
1.3 Computing A piece of software that carries out a particular function, typically creating or modifying another program.
More example sentences
  • The companies are working with open-source compiler developers to create software development tools for programmers.
  • Developers will be offered co-marketing money, free software and developer tools.
  • These tools exploit the file structure of operating systems to recover ‘evidence’ that can be used in court.
2A distinct design in the tooling of a book.
2.1A small stamp or roller used to make a tooled design.
More example sentences
  • The drawing was removed, and a variety of modeling tools were used to tool the foil in relief.
3 vulgar slang A man’s penis.
3.1A stupid, irritating, or contemptible man: that guy is such a tool
More example sentences
  • Before you make a complete tool of yourself, though, make sure you know how to spot a fake.
  • Making an utter tool of yourself, at some stage, is almost a right of passage.
  • You're eight months too late for that particular worry, you tool.


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1 [with object] (usually be tooled) Impress a design on (leather, especially a leather book cover): volumes bound in green leather and tooled in gold
More example sentences
  • It's really a beautiful little piece of work, bound in leather that's been tooled with a lovely design of roses and vines.
  • Houdini's diaries took up an entire shelf - about a dozen volumes, each boxed in an expensive leather slipcase, gold tooled - a treasure surely worth a few hundred thousand dollars.
  • Franklin has tooled the design himself: a rectangle within a rectangle within a rectangle of gold, the inner and the middle joined at the corners with floral rolls.
1.1Dress (stone) with a chisel.
More example sentences
  • Long gone are the tooled finishes from hand-held chisels that could render differences in texture across the face of a stone block, or from one stone to the next.
work, fashion, shape, cut;
ornament, embellish, decorate, chase
2Equip or be equipped with tools for industrial production: [with object]: the factory must be tooled to produce the models [no object]: they were tooling up for production
More example sentences
  • One of the most disheartening things was to go into that prison and see a massive carpentry shop - fully equipped and fully tooled - empty.
  • A fully tooled factory could turn out several hundred models a week, if necessary.
  • Apparently, they're tooling up for hardware production in May.
3 [no object] informal , chiefly North American Drive or ride in a casual or leisurely manner: tooling around town in a pink Rolls-Royce
More example sentences
  • The rest of the song was enough on its own, but that line was always good for some weird looks when my friend Charlotte and I were tooling around town screaming along.
  • I haven't driven in well over year - not since I went to Kentucky for Christmas 2000 and tooled around town in my mom's car.
  • But I think it would be fun to have one to tool around town, just about anywhere.


Old English tōl, from a Germanic base meaning 'prepare'; compare with taw1. The verb dates from the early 19th century.



More example sentences
  • This, in turn, fuelled an entire production industry - typesetters, printers, engravers, binders, leather toolers, booksellers, print makers and sellers - to service this new domain of culture.
  • Our staff of highly skilled engineers and toolers surpassed even their own imaginations.
  • Gender is of no difference here, but most toolers are between 20 and 60 years of age.

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