Definition of trowel in English:


Line breaks: trowel
Pronunciation: /ˈtraʊəl


  • 1A small handheld tool with a flat, pointed blade, used to apply and spread mortar or plaster: a pointing trowel
    More 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: a garden trowel
    More 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, trowelling, trowelled; US trowels, troweling, troweled)

[with object] Back to top  
  • Apply or spread with or as if with a trowel: trowel in enough soil to form a dome Kerrie trowelled jam on to her toast
    More 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'.

More definitions of trowel

Definition of trowel in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody