American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A single-edged steel hunting knife, about 15 inches (38 centimeters) in length, having a hilt and a crosspiece.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A heavy sheath-knife first used in the early part of the present century in Kentucky and other parts of the United States which were then on the borders of civilization. The blade is from 9 to 10 inches long, and has only one edge; the back is straight for three quarters of its length, and then curves toward the edge in a slightly concave sweep, while the edge finishes toward the point in a convex curve. The guard is very small, and the tongue is of the full breadth of the grip or barrel, which is formed of two rounded pieces of wood or bone. The best knives were made by frontier blacksmiths, of old horse-rasps and the like, and naturally differed much in size and pattern. The term is used at present for almost any large sheath-knife.
- n. Alternative form of Bowie knife.
GNU Webster's 1913
- A knife with a strong blade from ten to fifteen inches long, and double-edged near the point; -- used as a hunting knife, and formerly as a weapon in the southwestern part of the United States. It was named from its inventor, Colonel James Bowie. Also, by extension, any large sheath knife.
- n. a stout hunting knife with a single edge
- After James Bowie. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“His tormentor stood, yanking out her huge, serrated-edge bowie knife to defend herself from something moving quickly in a blur.”
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