From Middle English sikel (also assibilated in sichel), from Old English sicol, siċel, from Proto-Germanic *sikilō (“ploughshare”), of uncertain origin. Possibly a borrowing from Latin sēcula (“sickle”); or, alternatively derived as a diminutive of Proto-Germanic *seką (“ploughshare”), from Proto-Indo-European *seg-, a variant of Proto-Indo-European *sek- (“to cut”). Cognate with West Frisian systel, sisel, sizel (“sickle”), Dutch sikkel (“sickle”), German Sichel (“sickle”). Related also to West Frisian sichte (“sickle”), Dutch zicht (“sickle”), German Low German Sichte, Sicht (“sickle”), German Sech (“the blade of a sickle or scythe”).
sickle (plural sickles)
- (agriculture) An implement having a semicircular blade and short handle, used for cutting long grass and cereal crops.
- (agriculture, transitive) To cut with a sickle.
- (transitive) To deform (as with a red blood cell) into an abnormal crescent shape.
- (intransitive) Of red blood cells: to assume an abnormal crescent shape.
- (transitive: to deform): sickler
- Shaped like the blade of a sickle; crescent-shaped.
a sickle moon
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