incise

To incise is to carve or cut into something. You might incise your initials into the old oak tree in your backyard.

When you incise something, you carve it, often as a way of decorating it. Your grandfather might incise his beloved walking stick with the shapes of birds and trees, for example. It's more common to see this word in its adjective form, incised, but you can use it to mean "cut into a surface," or even "make a surgical cut." The Latin root is incidere, "to cut into or cut through."

Definitions of incise
  1. verb
    make an incision into by carving or cutting
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    types:
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    notch
    cut or make a notch into
    scrape, scratch, scratch up
    cut the surface of; wear away the surface of
    groove
    make a groove in, or provide with a groove
    slit
    cut a slit into
    worry
    lacerate by biting
    deaden, girdle
    cut a girdle around so as to kill by interrupting the circulation of water and nutrients
    mark, nock, score
    make small marks into the surface of
    indent
    notch the edge of or make jagged
    claw
    scratch, scrape, pull, or dig with claws or nails
    scuff
    mar by scuffing
    dado
    cut a dado into or fit into a dado
    mill
    produce a ridge around the edge of
    type of:
    cut
    separate with or as if with an instrument
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