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From Middle English tronchoun, from Old French tronchon (thick stick), from Late Latin *troncionem, from Latin truncus.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈtɹʌntʃən/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌntʃən


truncheon (plural truncheons)

  1. (obsolete) A fragment or piece broken off from something, especially a broken-off piece of a spear or lance.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.3:
      Therewith asunder in the midst it brast, / And in his hand nought but the troncheon left [].
  2. (obsolete) The shaft of a spear.
  3. A short staff, a club; a cudgel.
    • (Can we date this quote by Spenser and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      With his truncheon he so rudely struck.
    • 1786, Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, page 52:
      One is a large ball of iron, fastened with three chains to a strong truncheon or staff of about two feet long; the other is of mixed metal, in the form of a channelled melon, fastened also to a staff by a triple chain; these balls weigh eight pounds.
  4. A baton, or military staff of command, now especially the stick carried by a police officer.
    • 1604, William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act II, Scene II, l.60:
      Not the king's crown, nor the deputed sword / The marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe / Become them with one half so good a grace / As mercy does.
  5. (obsolete) A stout stem, as of a tree, with the branches lopped off, to produce rapid growth.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Gardner to this entry?)
  6. (euphemistic) A penis.
    • 1749, [John Cleland], Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure [Fanny Hill], London: Printed [by Thomas Parker] for G. Fenton [i.e., Fenton and Ralph Griffiths] [], OCLC 731622352:
      Then, being on his knees between my legs, he drew up his shirt and bared all his hairy thighs, and stiff staring truncheon, red-topt and rooted into a thicket of curls


See also[edit]


truncheon (third-person singular simple present truncheons, present participle truncheoning, simple past and past participle truncheoned)

  1. (transitive) To strike with a truncheon.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)