—v.t. 1. to cut, trim, or shape (a stick, piece of wood, etc.) by carving off bits with a knife.
2. to form by whittling: to whittle a figure. 3. to cut off (a bit).
4. to reduce the amount of, as if by whittling; pare down; take away by degrees (usually fol. by down, away, etc.): to whittle down the company's overhead; to whittle away one's inheritance.
—v.i. 1. to whittle wood or the like with a knife, as in shaping something or as a mere aimless diversion: to spend an afternoon whittling. 2. to tire oneself or another by worrying or fussing.
—n. Brit. Dial.a knife, esp. a large one, as a carving knife or a butcher knife.
Pronunciation: (hwit'l, wit'l),[key] —n. Sir Frank, born 1907, English engineer and inventor.