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Related to pencil in: penicillin
pencil someone or something in
to write in something with a pencil. (Implies that the writing is not final.) This isn't a firm appointment yet, so I will just pencil it in. I penciled in a tentative answer.
pencil somebody/something inalso pencil in somebody/something
to have a temporary plan to do something with someone The team had penciled in Morton as a key player this season. I penciled you in for lunch next Thursday.
Etymology: based on the idea that a pencil mark can easily be removed or changed
1. To write something in with a pencil: The assistant penciled in the editorial changes on the manuscript. After the teacher reviewed my test, I penciled the corrections in.
2. To schedule something tentatively: The secretary penciled in a staff meeting for 3:00. The band penciled a rehearsal in on Friday.
3. To schedule a tentative appointment with someone: We penciled him in for lunch next Monday. The interviewers penciled in the applicant for the end of the week.