American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A one-handed fencing stick fitted with a hand guard.
- n. The art, sport, or exercise of fencing with such a stick.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A cudgel for use with one hand, as distinguished from the quarter-staff. It is usually fitted with a guard for the hand, somewhat like that of a saber. Compare back-sword.
- n. The play or practice with such cudgels; the art of attack and defense with them: as, to learn single-stick.
- n. A wooden sword used on board ship for teaching the use of the cutlas.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. In England and Scotland, a cudgel used in fencing or fighting; a backsword.
- n. The game played with singlesticks, in which he who first brings blood from his adversary's head is pronounced victor; backsword; cudgeling.
- n. a stick used instead of a sword for fencing
- single + stick (Wiktionary)
“In our very first introduction to Mr. Holmes, the story “A Study In Scarlet”, Watson describes Holmes as “an expert singlestick player, boxer, and swordsman.””
“I used to be a fair hand with singlestick not long ago.”
“_ A person who presides at backsword or singlestick, to regulate the game; an umpire: a person who settles disputes.”
“He had been taught fencing as a part of his education, and would use the singlestick, arquebus, and crossbow, while the fashion of every gentleman wearing a sword had rendered it necessary that this weapon should be handled skilfully.”
“The play at singlestick at Salisbury races on Wednesday was very dull, there being no players of note to meet the Somersetshire men, who carried off the prize easily.”
“In the compass of eighteen pages of a work now before us we have details of no less than two grand matches of singlestick, one Wiltshire against”
“England about the abolition of the Briton's old favourite sports, it was conceded by all but a few, that from the custom of boxing, singlestick and backsword playing, wrestling, &c. arose the good temper which distinguishes that people -- Englishmen being less subject to violent fits of anger than the people of any other nation in the world.”
“We had constant sparring matches and some practice also with singlestick and foils; and Mr. Johnson would let me off sometimes of an afternoon to go a-fishing with the boy.”
“Captain Galsworthy was a frequent visitor, and though he was past eighty, insisted on giving our boys their first lessons with the singlestick.”
“From a chink in the door George recognized him as the very man he had so unceremoniously knocked from his perch and so merrily battered in the bout of singlestick that day on the landing-stage.”
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