cudgel

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English kuggel, from Old English cycgel ‎(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). Cognate with Middle Dutch coghele ‎(stick with a rounded end). Related to cog.

Pronunciation[edit]

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. The threat to swing glinted in his eye.
    • 1883, Howard Pyle, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood Chapter V
      Then they had bouts of wrestling and of cudgel play, so that every day they gained in skill and strength.
    • Bunyan
      He getteth him a grievous crabtree cudgel and [] falls to rating of them as if they were dogs.
  2. (metaphoric) Anything that can be used as a threat to force one's will on another.
    • 2015 April 15, Jonathan Martin, “For a Clinton, It’s Not Hard to Be Humble in an Effort to Regain Power”[1], The New York Times:
      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.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

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

  1. To strike with a cudgel.
    The officer was violently cudgeled down in the midst of the rioters.
    • Shakespeare
      I would cudgel him like a dog if he would say so.
  2. To exercise (one's wits or brains).

Anagrams[edit]