Definition of trowel in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtrou(ə)l/


1A small handheld tool with a flat, pointed blade, used to apply and spread mortar or plaster.
Example sentences
  • Remove the bricks and use a pointed trowel to apply mortar to the concrete base, but do not go beyond the chalk lines.
  • Using a trowel, apply plaster over the hole covering the patch and filling the entire hole.
  • Using your chalk line as a guide, spread the mortar with a notched trowel over a 2x5-foot section of the floor.
2A small handheld tool with a curved scoop for lifting plants or earth.
Example sentences
  • To help you determine planting depths and plant spacing, garden trowels often come with measurements right on the metal.
  • Probably one of the most-used small tools is the trowel, which is ideal for digging small holes for planting and transplanting annuals, vegetables and other smaller plants.
  • Chris sighed and kept on digging his trowel into the earth.

verb (trowels, troweling, troweled ; British trowels, trowelling, trowelled)

[with object]
Apply or spread with or as if with a trowel.
Example sentences
  • First, a scratch coat is troweled onto the lath; the plaster oozes through the lath and grips the backing when it hardens.
  • When troweling it on, push and move the material, creating varying textures.
  • Final troweling operations are completed with riding trowels.


Middle English (as a noun): from Old French truele, from medieval Latin truella, alteration of Latin trulla 'scoop', diminutive of trua 'skimmer'.

  • The word trowel is from Old French truele, an alteration of Latin trulla ‘scoop’.

Words that rhyme with trowel

avowal, Baden-Powell, bowel, disembowel, dowel, Howell, Powell, rowel, towel, vowel

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: trow·el

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