From Middle English sythe or sithe, from Old English sīðe (“sickle”). The silent c appeared in the early 15th century because it was wrongly thought that the word was linked to Latin scissor ("carver, cutter") and scindere ("to cut"). Cognate with Dutch zicht (“sickle”).
scythe (plural scythes)
- An instrument for mowing grass, grain, or the like, by hand, composed of a long, curving blade, with the concave edge sharped, made fast to a long handle, called a snath.
- A scythe-shaped blade attached to ancient war chariots.
- To cut with a scythe; to cut off as with a scythe; to mow.