AskDefine | Define tool

Dictionary Definition



1 an implement used in the practice of a vocation
2 the means whereby some act is accomplished; "my greed was the instrument of my destruction"; "science has given us new tools to fight disease" [syn: instrument]
3 a person who is controlled by others and is used to perform unpleasant or dishonest tasks for someone else [syn: creature, puppet]
4 obscene terms for penis [syn: cock, prick, dick, shaft, pecker, peter, putz]


1 drive; "The convertible tooled down the street"
2 ride in a car with no particular goal and just for the pleasure of it; "We tooled down the street" [syn: joyride, tool around]
3 furnish with tools
4 work with a tool

User Contributed Dictionary






  1. A mechanical device intended to make a task easier.
    Hand me that tool, would you?
  2. Equipment used in a profession, e.g., tools of the trade.
    These are the tools of the trade.
  3. A software to develop softwares or hardwares.
    The software engineer had been developed lots of EDA tools.
  4. A complete idiot.
    He was a tool, no more than a pawn to her.
  5. Penis.
  6. A person who uncritically supports and assists established authority. See sellout.
  7. By association, any contemptible, inadequate, or unpleasant person.
  8. A person who is used in relationships for reasons other than love.


mechanical device intended to make a task easier
  • Bulgarian: инструмент
  • Czech: nástroj
  • Danish: instrument , redskab
  • Dutch: gereedschap, werktuig, instrument, hulpmiddel
  • Finnish: työkalu
  • French: outil
  • Galician: ferramenta
  • German: Werkzeug, Gerät, Instrument
  • Interlingua: instrumento
  • Italian: arnese, strumento
  • Japanese: 道具
  • Norwegian: verktøy
  • Polish: narzędzie
  • Portuguese: instrumento, ferramenta
  • Romanian: sculă
  • Russian: инструмент (instrumént) , орудие труда (orúdije trudá)
  • Serbian: алат, alat
  • Slovene: orodje
  • Spanish: herramienta
  • Swahili: vifaa p (noun 7,8)
  • Swedish: verktyg
equipment used in a profession
a software for developers
  • Japanese: ツール
complete idiot
  • Danish: pik
  • Dutch: lul
  • Finnish: kalu
  • German: Teil
  • Italian: arnese
  • Norwegian: kuk
  • Polish: kutas
  • Romanian: sculă
  • Russian: прибор, аппарат
person who uncritically supports and assists established authority
A person who is used in relationships
  • Japanese: 玩具
  • Norwegian: tøffel


  1. To work on or shape with tools, e.g., hand-tooled leather.
  2. To equip with tools.
  3. To work very hard.
  4. In the context of "volleyball": To intentionally attack the ball such that it deflects off a blocker out of bounds.


* use


to work on or shape with tools
to equip with tools
to work very hard




From German Stuhl



Extensive Definition

A tool is a device or a piece of equipment that typically provides a mechanical advantage in accomplishing a task or enables the accomplishment of a task not otherwise possible. The most basic tools are simple machines. For example, a crowbar simply functions as a lever. The further out from the pivot point, the more force is transmitted along the lever. When particularly intended for domestic use, a tool is often called a utensil.
Observation has confirmed that multiple species can use tools, including monkeys, apes, several birds, sea otters, and others. Philosophers originally thought that only humans had the ability to make tools, until zoologists observed birds and monkeys making tools. Now humans' unique relationship to tools is considered to be that we are the only species that uses tools to make other tools.
Most anthropologists believe that the use of tools was an important step in the evolution of mankind. Humans evolved an opposable thumb - useful in holding tools - and increased dramatically in intelligence, which aided in the use of tools.


Protective gear are not tools because they do not directly help perform work, just protect the worker like ordinary clothing. Personal protective equipment, such as gloves, safety glasses, ear defenders and biohazard suits.

Tool substitution

Often, by design or coincidence, a tool may share key functional attributes with one or more other tools. In this case, some tools can substitute for other tools, either as a make-shift solution or as a matter of practical efficiency. "One tool does it all" is a motto of some importance for workers who cannot practically carry every specialized tool to the location of every work task. Tool substitution may be divided broadly into two classes: substitution "by-design", or "multi-purpose" use, and substitution as make-shift. In many cases, the designed secondary functions of tools are not widely known. As an example of the former, many wood-cutting hand saws integrate a carpenter's square by incorporating a specially shaped handle which allows 90° and 45° angles to be marked by aligning the appropriate part of the handle with an edge and scribing along the back edge of the saw. The latter is illustrated by the saying "All tools can be used as hammers." Nearly all tools can be re purposed to function as a hammer, even though very few tools are intentionally designed for it.

Multi-use tools

  • A Multitool is a hand tool that incorporates several tools into a single, portable device.
  • Lineman's pliers incorporate a gripper and cutter, and are often used secondarily as a hammer.
  • Hand saws often incorporate the functionality of the carpenter's square in the right-angle between the blade's dull edge and the saw's handle.


Evidence of stone tool manufacture and use dates from the start of the Stone Age, though it is possible that earlier tools of less durable material have not survived. Stone tools found in China magnetostratigraphically date back to approximately 1.36 million years ago. The transition from stone to metal tools roughly coincided with the development of agriculture around the 4th millennium BC.
Mechanical devices experienced a major expansion in their use in the Middle Ages with the systematic employment of new energy sources: water (waterwheels) and wind (windmills).
Machine tools occasioned a surge in producing new tools in the industrial revolution. Advocates of nanotechnology expect a similar surge as tools become microscopic in size.


tool in Azerbaijani: Alət
tool in Min Nan: Ke-si
tool in Bosnian: Alat
tool in Catalan: Eina (utensili)
tool in Czech: Nástroj
tool in Danish: Værktøj
tool in German: Werkzeug
tool in Estonian: Tööriist
tool in Modern Greek (1453-): Εργαλείο
tool in Spanish: Herramienta
tool in Esperanto: Laborilo
tool in Basque: Tresna
tool in French: Outil
tool in Scottish Gaelic: Acfhainn
tool in Korean: 도구
tool in Croatian: Alat
tool in Ido: Utensilo
tool in Icelandic: Verkfæri
tool in Italian: Utensile
tool in Hebrew: כלי
tool in Latvian: Darbarīks
tool in Limburgan: Gereidsjap
tool in Hungarian: Szerszám
tool in Dutch: Gereedschap
tool in Dutch Low Saxon: Raaive
tool in Japanese: 道具
tool in Norwegian: Redskap
tool in Norwegian Nynorsk: Reiskap
tool in Narom: Ôti
tool in Polish: Narzędzie
tool in Portuguese: Ferramenta
tool in Quechua: Irraminta
tool in Russian: Инструмент
tool in Sicilian: Arnisi
tool in Simple English: Tool
tool in Slovak: Nástroj
tool in Slovenian: Orodje
tool in Serbian: Alat
tool in Serbo-Croatian: Alat
tool in Finnish: Työkalu
tool in Swedish: Verktyg
tool in Cherokee: ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎬᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ
tool in Turkish: Âlet
tool in Yiddish: ווערקצייג
tool in Contenese: 架生
tool in Chinese: 工具

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Charlie McCarthy, Federal, T square, adz, agency, agent, aid, amanuensis, ancilla, apparatus, apple-polisher, appliance, ass-licker, auto, autolithograph, avenue, awl, ax, backscratcher, backslapper, baggage agent, bale breaker, bar, battering ram, be a printmaker, bevel, bevel square, bodkin, bootlick, bootlicker, bradawl, bread knife, brown-nose, brownie, buffer, bushwhacker, business agent, butcher knife, calipers, cant hook, carve, carving knife, caulking iron, center punch, character, charioteer, chaser, chisel, chuck, chump, claim agent, clamp, clasp, clawback, cleaver, clerk, clinch, clip, clipper, clippers, commercial agent, commission agent, consignee, contraption, contrivance, courtier, cramp, crease, creature, cribble, cringer, crosshatch, crowbar, customer agent, cut, dagger, decorate, device, dibble, dividers, dog, dress, dummy, dupe, edger, electric sander, electric soldering iron, embellish, enchase, engrave, factor, fawner, fed, federal agent, file, flail, flatterer, flunky, footlicker, forceps, fork, freight agent, functionary, furrow, gadget, general agent, gimmick, gizmo, go-between, gouge, grab, grapnel, grapple, grappler, grappling iron, grave, grease gun, grindstone, grip, groove, groveler, hack, handmaid, handmaiden, handshaker, hatch, hatchet, hawk, helot, hireling, hoe, holdfast, hook, hunting knife, implement, incise, inscribe, instrument, instrumentality, insurance agent, interagent, intermediary, intermediate, intermedium, jack, jackal, jackknife, jackscrew, jaws, jointer, knife, kowtower, lackey, lance, lancet, land agent, lathe, law agent, led captain, letter-opener, level, lever, lickspit, lickspittle, line, literary agent, lithograph, loan agent, machete, machine, make prints, mark, mattock, mealymouth, means, mechanism, mechanize, mediator, medium, midwife, mill, minion, miter box, motor, motorize, nail file, nail puller, news agent, nippers, official, organ, ornament, palette knife, paper clip, paper cutter, paper knife, paring knife, parliamentary agent, passenger agent, pawn, peavey, penknife, peon, pick, pickax, pilot, pincers, pinch bar, pitchfork, planer, plaything, pliers, plowshare, press agent, print, puller, punch, punch pliers, puncheon, puppet, purchasing agent, putty knife, ram, rammer, ramrod, razor, razor blade, real estate agent, retool, ripping bar, road, sales agent, saw knife, sax, scalpel, scissors, scoop, score, scrape, scraper, scratch, screwdriver, scuffle hoe, sculpture, scythe, secretary, serf, servant, shape, shaper, share, sharpen, shears, sheath knife, sickle, sidecutters, slave, snips, soldering iron, spaniel, spatula, spear, special agent, spokeshave, square, stapler, station agent, steward, stipple, stooge, suck, sucker, surgical knife, sword, sycophant, table knife, tackle, tamp, tamper, tamping pick, tap, theatrical agent, ticket agent, timeserver, tire iron, tire tool, toad, toady, tongs, toy, travel agent, truckler, tufthunter, tweezers, utensil, vehicle, vise, walking delegate, way, weapon, wedge, wheel, work, wrecking bar, wrench, yes-man
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