If a small flake of your purple nail polish breaks off, you might describe it as a chip, or a tiny piece. You might also say, "Shoot, I always seem to chip my nails."

You can use the word chip as a noun or a verb, to describe the breaking off of a small piece or the small piece itself. You might accidentally chip your aunt's favorite tea cup, or realize that slamming your door made a chip of paint fall off your bedroom wall. The word comes from the Old English forcippian, "to pare away by cutting," and the related cipp, also pronounced chip, which means "small piece of wood."

Definitions of chip
  1. noun
    a small fragment of something broken off from the whole
    synonyms: bit, flake, fleck, scrap
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    fragments of wood
    exfoliation, scale, scurf
    a thin flake of dead epidermis shed from the surface of the skin
    (botany) a covering that resembles scales or bran that covers some plant parts
    sliver, splinter
    a small thin sharp bit of wood or glass or metal
    small scales from animal skins or hair or bird feathers that can cause allergic reactions in some people
    loose scales shed from the scalp
    type of:
    a piece broken off or cut off of something else
  2. noun
    the act of chipping something
    synonyms: chipping, splintering
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    type of:
    break, breakage, breaking
    the act of breaking something
  3. noun
    a mark left after a small piece has been chopped or broken off of something
    synonyms: check
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    type of:
    blemish, defect, mar
    a mark or flaw that spoils the appearance of something (especially on a person's body)
  4. noun
    a thin crisp slice of potato fried in deep fat
    synonyms: Saratoga chip, crisp, potato chip
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    type of:
    snack food
    food for light meals or for eating between meals
  5. noun
    a piece of dried bovine dung
    synonyms: buffalo chip, cow chip, cow dung
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    type of:
    droppings, dung, muck
    fecal matter of animals
  6. verb
    break off (a piece from a whole)
    “Her tooth chipped
    synonyms: break away, break off, chip off, come off
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    flake, flake off, peel, peel off
    come off in flakes or thin small pieces
    come off in a very thin piece
    type of:
    divide, part, separate
    come apart
  7. verb
    break a small piece off from
    chip the glass”
    chip a tooth”
    synonyms: break off, cut off, knap
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    type of:
    separate with or as if with an instrument
  8. verb
    cut a nick into
    synonyms: nick
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    type of:
    separate with or as if with an instrument
  9. verb
    form by chipping
    “They chipped their names in the stone”
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    type of:
    forge, form, mold, mould, shape, work
    make something, usually for a specific function
  10. noun
    a small disk-shaped counter used to represent money when gambling
    synonyms: poker chip
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    blue chip
    a blue poker chip with the highest value
    type of:
    game equipment (as a piece of wood, plastic, or ivory) used for keeping a count or reserving a space in various card or board games
  11. noun
    a triangular wooden float attached to the end of a log line
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    type of:
    something that floats on the surface of water
  12. noun
    electronic equipment consisting of a small crystal of a silicon semiconductor fabricated to carry out a number of electronic functions in an integrated circuit
    synonyms: micro chip, microchip, microprocessor chip, silicon chip
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    a microchip that uses tiny strands of DNA to latch onto and quickly recognize thousands of genes at a time; intended for use in a biological environment
    DNA chip, gene chip
    a microchip that holds DNA probes that form half of the DNA double helix and can recognize DNA from samples being tested
    memory chip
    a RAM microchip that can be plugged into a computer to provide additional memory
    integrated circuit semiconductor chip that performs the bulk of the processing and controls the parts of a system
    read-only memory chip
    a memory chip providing read-only memory
    type of:
    semiconductor, semiconductor device, semiconductor unit
    a conductor made with semiconducting material
  13. noun
    (golf) a low running approach shot
    synonyms: chip shot
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    type of:
    approach, approach shot
    a relatively short golf shot intended to put the ball onto the putting green
  14. verb
    play a chip shot
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    type of:
    throw or propel in a specific direction or towards a specific objective
Word Family

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