AN'VIL, n. [The Latin word incus, incudis,is formed by a like analogy fromin and cudo, to hammer, or shape.] An iron block with a smooth face, on which smiths hammer and shape their work. Figuratively, any thing on which blows are laid. To be on the anvil, is to be in a state of discussion, formation or preparation; as when a scheme or measure is forming, but not matured. This figure bears an analogy to that is discussion, a shaking or beating.
nounEtymology: Middle English anfilt, from Old English; akin to Old High German anafalz anvil; akin to Latin pellere to beat — more at feltDate: before 12th century 1. a heavy usually steel-faced iron block on which metal is shaped (as by hand hammering) 2.incus3. the anvil-shaped top of a cumulonimbus
Iron block on which metal is placed for shaping, originally by hand with a hammer. The blacksmith's anvil is usually of wrought iron (sometimes of cast iron), with a smooth working surface of hardened steel. A projecting conical beak, or horn, at one end is used for hammering curved pieces of metal. When power hammers are used, the anvil is supported on a heavy block, which in turn rests on a strong foundation of timber and masonry or concrete. See also smithing.
Anvil An"vil, n. [OE. anvelt, anfelt, anefelt, AS. anfilt, onfilt; of uncertain origin; cf. OHG. anafalz, D. aanbeld.] 1. An iron block, usually with a steel face, upon which metals are hammered and shaped. 2. Anything resembling an anvil in shape or use. Specifically (Anat.), the incus. See Incus. To be on the anvil, to be in a state of discussion, formation, or preparation, as when a scheme or measure is forming, but not matured. --Swift.
an'-vil (pa`am): The word is used only once to mean anvil. The passage (Isa 41:7) refers to the custom still very common of workmen encouraging each other at their work. See CRAFTS. Just how pretentious the anvil of the ancients was we do not know. Most work requiring striking or beating, from the finest wrought jewelry to the largest copper vessels, is now done on an anvil shaped like an inverted letter L which is driven into a block of wood, or into the ground, or into a crack between two of the stone slabs of the workman's floor. The only massive anvils seen in the country today are modern and of foreign make.