cudgel

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English kuggel, from Old English cyċġel (a large stick, cudgel), from Proto-Germanic *kuggilaz (knobbed instrument), derivative of Proto-Germanic *kuggǭ (cog, swelling), from Proto-Indo-European *gewgʰ- (swelling, bow), from Proto-Indo-European *gew-, *gū- (to bow, bend, arch, curve), equivalent to cog +‎ -el (diminutive suffix). Cognate with Middle Dutch coghele (stick with a rounded end).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈkʌdʒəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌdʒəl

Noun[edit]

cudgel (plural cudgels)

  1. A short heavy club with a rounded head used as a weapon.
    The guard hefted his cudgel menacingly and looked at the inmates.
  2. (figurative) Anything that can be used as a threat to force one's will on another.
    • 1893, William Morris, The Ideal Book[1]:
      As above said, legibility depends also much on the design of the letter; and again I take up the cudgels against compressed type, and that especially in Roman letters: []
    • 2015 April 15, Jonathan Martin, “For a Clinton, It’s Not Hard to Be Humble in an Effort to Regain Power”, in The New York Times[2]:
      Mrs. Clinton’s Senate tenure, however, also demonstrated the risks of overcompensation: Not wanting to give Republicans fodder to portray her as soft on defense, she authorized President Bush to use force in Iraq and handed Mr. Obama a political cudgel to use against her.
    • 2019 July 17, Talia Lavin, “When Non-Jews Wield Anti-Semitism as Political Shield”, in GQ[3]:
      [Minnesota Senator Steve] Daines isn’t the only example of right-wing politicians who wish to wield anti-Semitism as a convenient cudgel against their political enemies, with scant if any evidence. But Montana’s vanishingly small Jewish population makes it particularly clear that this strategy has little to do with flesh-and-blood Jews at all.

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

cudgel (third-person singular simple present cudgels, present participle (US) cudgeling or (Commonwealth) cudgelling, simple past and past participle (US) cudgeled or (Commonwealth) cudgelled)

  1. To strike with a cudgel.
    The officer was violently cudgeled down in the midst of the rioters.
  2. To exercise (one's wits or brains).

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]