American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A short pike carried by infantry officers and sergeants in the 18th century.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A kind of halberd or partizan formerly serving as the distinguishing arm for certain officers of the British infantry. Compare half-pike. Also called demi-pike.
- n. A pointed weapon similar to a pike.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Mil.) A kind of half-pike, or halberd, formerly borne by inferior officers of the British infantry, and used in giving signals to the soldiers.
- French sponton, from Italian spuntone : s-, intensive pref.; see sforzando + puntone, kind of weapon, augmentative of punto, point (from Latin pūnctum, from neuter past participle of pungere, to pierce, prick). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“A spontoon was a kind of half-pike, a military weapon carried by officers of infantry and used as a medium for signalling orders to the regiment.”
““I am just now like the half-pike, or spontoon of Achilles, one end of which could wound and the other cure — a property belonging neither to Spanish pike, brown-bill, partizan, halberd, Lochaber-axe, or indeed any other modern staff-weapon whatever.””
“I would like to see some company make just spontoon heads that you could attach to wire.”
“If I could figure out how to affix the tip of the halberd, spontoon or whatever onto the piano wire, I might try that, but I think that you will be OK if you don't.”
“Frae the gilded spontoon tae the fife I was ready;”
“He was carrying a spontoon that he had picked up from a dead Connaught Sergeant.”
“A spontoon wounded his horse, but the Hussar held on.”
“The broad lance subsisted till lately in the halberd; the spear and framea in the long pike and spontoon; the missile weapons in the war hatchet, or North American tomahawk.”
“There are two ranges of them down the back, shaped exactly like the head of a spontoon, and opposite to the point of the scale has a little shank, about three tenths of an inch long, which the natives insert into the end of their arrows, making the scale serve for a head.”
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Looking for tweets for spontoon.