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.
(Science: anatomy) Specifically, 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.
Origin: oe. Anvelt, anfelt, anefelt, as. Anfilt, onfilt; of uncertain origin; cf. OHG. Anafalz, D. Aanbeld.