scythe

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See also: Scythe

English[edit]

scythe (1) (larger) and sickle (smaller)

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English sythe, sithe, from Old English sīþe, sīðe, siġði (sickle), probably from Proto-West Germanic *segisnu (sickle). Germanic cognates include West Frisian seine (scythe), Dutch zicht (sickle), German Sense (scythe). Related to saw, which see.

The silent c crept in the early 15th century owing to pseudoetymological association with Medieval Latin scissor (tailor, carver), from Latin scindere (to cut, rend, split).

The verb, which was first used in the intransitive sense, is from the noun.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈsaɪð/, (some accents) IPA(key): /ˈsaɪθ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪð, -aɪθ

Noun[edit]

scythe (plural scythes)

  1. An instrument for mowing grass, grain, etc. by hand, composed of a long, curving blade with a sharp concave edge, fastened to a long handle called a snath. [before 10th century]
  2. (historical) A scythe-shaped blade attached to ancient war chariots.
  3. (cartomancy) The tenth Lenormand card.

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External links[edit]

Verb[edit]

scythe (third-person singular simple present scythes, present participle scything, simple past and past participle scythed)

  1. (intransitive) To use a scythe. [from 1570s]
  2. (transitive) To cut with a scythe. [from 1570s]
  3. (transitive) To cut off as with a scythe; to mow. [from 1590s]
  4. (intransitive, figuratively) To attack or injure as if cutting.
    • 2011, Catherine Sampson, The Pool of Unease:
      The boy began to keen, and the high-pitched noise scythed through Song's head.

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French[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

scythe (plural scythes)

  1. Scythian