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a pointed instrument for piercing small holes in leather, wood, etc.
absent with leave.
Contemporary Examples

This philosophy neatly sums up the success of The awl, created by former Gawker-ites Alex Balk and Choire Sicha.
The Next Year in Media Rachel Sklar January 2, 2010

This second view was given representative voice by Choire Sicha at The awl.
What Kind of Christian Is Barack Obama? Michael Tomasky May 7, 2012

Daniel D’Addario is a senior at Columbia University who has contributed to Newsweek and The awl.
High on Study Drugs Daniel D’Addario May 8, 2010

Doree Shafrir has contributed to The New York Observer, The New Yorker, Slate, and The awl, and is the co-author of Love, Mom.
Indie Dream Girls Doree Shafrir July 19, 2009

Daniel D’Addario is a writer who’s contributed to Newsweek, The awl, Urlesque, and Capital.
The Power of the Booker Daniel D’Addario October 11, 2010

Historical Examples

The glass eyes are to be cut from their wires and set, drawing the lids around them with an awl.
Home Taxidermy for Pleasure and Profit Albert B. Farnham

We cut with a knife, we pierce with an awl, we weave with a shuttle, we name with a name.
Cratylus Plato

“I want you to teach me everything you know,” said Dickie, picking up an awl and feeling its point.
Harding’s luck E. [Edith] Nesbit

And “hahaha” echoed the old man, still sitting with the awl in his hand.
The Great Hunger Johan Bojer

The leather string for thread and the awl for the needle must have been in use long, long ago.
American Inventions and Inventors William A. Mowry

a pointed hand tool with a fluted blade used for piercing wood, leather, etc See also bradawl

Old English æl “awl, piercer,” from Proto-Germanic *ælo (cf. Old Norse alr, Dutch aal, Middle Low German al, Old High German äla, German Ahle), of uncertain origin. Earliest references are to piercing of the ears, though later it was associated with shoemakers. Through misdivision, frequently written 15c.-17c. as nawl (for an awl; see N).
absent with leave

an instrument only referred to in connection with the custom of boring the ear of a slave (Ex. 21:6; Deut. 15:17), in token of his volunteering perpetual service when he might be free. (Comp. Ps. 40:6; Isa. 50:5).


Read Also:

  • Awl snail

    any tiny, usually white land snail of the family Subulinidae, some introduced species being pests of hothouse flowers.

  • Awlwort

    a small, stemless aquatic plant, Subularia aquatica, of the mustard family, having slender, sharp-pointed leaves and minute white flowers. noun a small stemless aquatic plant, Subularia aquatica, of the N hemisphere, having slender sharp-pointed leaves and minute, often submerged, white flowers: family Brassicaceae (crucifers)

  • Awless

    aweless. displaying no awe; unawed. not to be awed; fearless. rude; impertinent.

  • Awn

    a bristlelike appendage of a plant, especially on the glumes of grasses. such appendages collectively, as those forming the beard of wheat, barley, etc. any similar bristle. Historical Examples The fourth glume is narrow linear, hyaline with two very fine lobes at the apex with an awn between, 7/16 inch long. A Handbook of Some […]

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