|Origin:||whittle 'large knife' (15-19 centuries), from thwittle (14-19 centuries), from thwite 'to whittle' (11-19 centuries), from Old English thwitan|
1 also whittle down [transitive]
to gradually make something smaller by taking parts away:
We need to whittle down the list of guests for the party.
2TIC [intransitive and transitive]
to cut a piece of wood into a particular shape by cutting off small pieces with a knife [↪ carve]