Word of the Day: chip

Word of the Day
August 15, 2016
chip (noun, verb)
/tʃɪp/  sound icon
We call these chips in the US and crisps in the UK.
A chip is a small piece of food, such as chocolate, or a thin piece of something that has been broken by chopping, such as wood. It's also a mark or flaw left on something broken. A chip is a round plastic token used in games such as roulette or poker. In electronics, a chip is a thin and tiny piece of plastic on which a transistor or an integrated circuit is formed. As a verb, to chip means 'to cut with an axe' or 'to cut or break a piece of something.'


Example sentences
I love chocolate chip cookies.
People often use wood chips to keep the weeds down in their gardens.
This plate has a chip in it.
The gamblers placed their chips in front of them on the poker table.
The IT guy inserted a new memory chip into the device.
The sculptor chipped away at the block of stone.
The dishwasher was fired because he kept chipping the glasses.
I got a manicure yesterday and it already got chipped!


Multi-word forms
chip in: to contribute something, especially money. Example: "I know Julie wants a new smartphone for her birthday. If we all chip in, maybe we can afford to buy her one."
when the chips are down: when it really matters. Example: "Our boss is very demanding, but when the chips are down, he always supports his staff."
a chip off the old block: used to say someone is similar to a parent. Example: "I see your daughter has inherited your talent for painting; she's a real chip off the old block, isn't she?"
have a chip on your shoulder: harbor resentment about something. Example: "Robert is very conscious that all his colleagues have college degrees and he doesn't; in fact, he has a real chip on his shoulder about it."
Did you know?
In the UK, a chip is also a long, fairly thin piece of potato, fried in oil–the same thing is called a French fry or fry in the US. In the US, a chip is a very thin slice of potato fried in oil–this is called a crisp in the UK. Just to make it a bit more complicated, both crisps and French fries are called chips in Australia, but they often call French fries hot chips to make it clear what they are talking about.
Other forms
chippable (adjective), chipped (adjective)
Chip (the noun) dates back to the early 14th century, to the Middle English chip, meaning 'a piece cut off of something.' It comes from the Old English cipp, with the same meaning. The verb, meaning to cut off, also dates back to Middle English, chippen, which comes from the Old English verb-form of the OE noun cipp. A chip only started meaning 'the mark caused by chipping' in the late 19th century. A piece of plastic used for gambling only became a chip in the mid-19th century, and the computing sense was first used in 1962.
Chip in other languages
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