American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A light spear or lance, especially one with a short shaft and long blade for close combat, used by Bantu peoples of southern Africa.
- n. A southern African tree (Curtisia dentata) having wood used for making spears or lances.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- See assagai.
- n. A slim hardwood spear or javelin with an iron tip, especially those used by Bantu peoples of Southern Africa.
- n. The tree species Curtisia dentata, because its wood is traditionally used to made assegais.
- v. To spear with an assegai.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Same as assagai.
- n. the slender spear of the Bantu-speaking people of Africa
- From French azagaie (now zagaie) or Portuguese azagaia, Spanish azagaya, from colloquial Arabic الزغاية (al-zaghaya), from Berber zaġāya ("spear"). (Wiktionary)
- Obsolete French azagaie, probably from Old Spanish azagayah, from Arabic az-zaġāya : al-, the + Berber zaġāya, spear. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Another example, the Zulu warriors that fought the British over in Africa used the assegai, which is really just a fancy spear and couldn't make any Spartan jaws drop in awe, maybe in laughter or curiosity, but certainly not in awe.”
“Bushman (who does not desire to kill them!) and the slender "assegai" of the Bechuana, the lion has little or no fear of man.”
“The sergeant, in the act of climbing over the tailboard, let out a hell of a shriek; I glimpsed his face, red and staring, and his arm flung out to point, and then his eyes stared horribly, and he slumped down into the dust, with a throwing assegai between his shoulders, his limbs thrashing wildly.”
“I came dizzily to my feet, to stare at the empty ravine, with a great black cloud billowing in the air above it, a few shreds of rope and timber dangling from the far lip, and on this side, lying in the dust, a single assegai.”
“Suddenly Ki-Gor was beside him, hacking and stabbing with the assegai.”
“His spine prickling, Ki-Gor stepped back a pace and shifted his grip on the assegai blade.”
“Silently, he offered the butt end of his assegai for Robert to hold, and the oddly assorted pair moved slowly down the path.”
“Ki-Gor landed lightly on his feet and instantly struck with the assegai blade in his right hand.”
“Ki-Gor reached down, shook Helene's shoulder roughly, and seized the blade of the assegai.”
“At the head of the party, Ki-Gor picked his way cautiously, an assegai held ready in his right hand.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘assegai’.
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My word list from Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness."
Words from James Joyce's novel.
Words gathered while reading works of Joseph Conrad.
Looking for tweets for assegai.