Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A Turkish sword or scimitar having a double-curved blade and an eared pommel, but lacking a handle guard.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A type of sword used in Muslim countries from the mid-16th to late 19th centuries.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A long knife, or short saber, common among Mohammedan nations, usually having a double curve, sometimes nearly straight.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The sword of Mohammedan nations, peculiar in having no guard and no crosspiece, but usually a large and often decorative pommel.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a long Turkish knife with a curved blade having a single edge

Etymologies

Turkish yataǧan.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Turkish yatağan, from Old Turkic root yat- ("to bend, incline; to lie"),[2] whence also words like yatmak ("to lie"), yatak ("bed"), yatay ("horizontal"), etc. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Marvand, the Surgeon-Major of an Algerian regiment, reports the case of a young Arab woman who had been severely injured in the right lumbar region by a weapon called a "yataghan," an instrument which has only one cutting edge.

    Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine

  • “His hero, Des Esseintes, comes from a long line of grim, muscular warriors with yataghan mustaches.” oriflamme.

    Ready for the SAT « So Many Books

  • While I gather my thoughts for a coherent post about it, here are a few more words that sent me to the dictionary: yataghan.

    Ready for the SAT « So Many Books

  • Claw Cape, bent in the form of a yataghan, tapered away nearly four miles to the southeast.

    The Mysterious Island

  • He carried no arms, openly at least, but under his belt was hidden a revolver and in his pocket, one of those large knives, resembling both a cutlass and a yataghan, with which a

    Michael Strogoff

  • At first the natives declared that their hens were mere old maids and all their cows unmarried, but our Tatar swore such a grand sonorous oath, and fingered the hilt of his yataghan with such persuasive touch, that the land soon flowed with milk, and mountains of eggs arose.

    Eothen

  • Gord managed to Jump back, barely avoiding being skewered as the yataghan shot forth a foot farther than Gord thought possible.

    Night Arrant

  • Blood ran from Cord's side where the yataghan had slashed it, but the wound was a minor one.

    Night Arrant

  • Its curious shape told Gord It was some form of yataghan, with a needle point and wickedly sharp inner-edged cutting surface.

    Night Arrant

  • Alarm flashed onto Andar's face, and he grabbed for his yataghan.

    Conan The Unconquered

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Comments

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  • "'I dare say he is a Romanist or a Mussulman: the curious sword is a yataghan...'"
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Ionian Mission, 321

    February 14, 2008

  • '"Well, well," thought Sasha, snatching out his sword and dashing forward to meet the warrior, who had drawn a crooked yataghan, "and like a fool I always took the trolley."'

    - Victor Pelevin, Prince of Gosplan (tr. Andrew Bromfield).

    January 11, 2008