Definitions

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

  • n. A short heavy stick; a club.
  • transitive v. To beat or strike with or as if with a cudgel.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A short heavy club with a rounded head used as a weapon.
  • v. to strike someone with a cudgel

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A staff used in cudgel play, shorter than the quarterstaff, and wielded with one hand; hence, any heavy stick used as a weapon.
  • transitive v. To beat with a cudgel.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A short thick stick used as a weapon; a club; specifically, a staff used in cudgel-play.
  • To strike with a cudgel or club; beat, in general.

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

  • n. a club that is used as a weapon
  • v. strike with a cudgel

Etymologies

Middle English cuggel, from Old English cycgel.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English kuggel, from Old English cycgel ("a large stick, cudgel"), from Proto-Germanic *kuggilaz (“knobbed instrument”), derivative of Proto-Germanic *kuggōn (“cog, swelling”), from Proto-Indo-European *geugʰ- (“swelling, bow”), from Proto-Indo-European *geu-, *gū- (“to bow, bend, arch, curve”). Cognate with Middle Dutch coghele ("stick with a rounded end"). Related to cog. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "Hill-bastards!" he howled at them, beating at them as if they were sheaves and his cudgel were a flail.

    In The Time Of Light

  • The fencer who demanded a contest according to the rules of fencing was the French army; his opponent who threw away the rapier and snatched up the cudgel was the Russian people; those who try to explain the matter according to the rules of fencing are the historians who have described the event.

    War and Peace

  • The cudgel is a stout one, and som'at like your master's justice; -- 'tis a good weapon in weak hands; and that's the way many a rogue escapes a dressing.

    John Bull The Englishman's Fireside: A Comedy, in Five Acts

  • Note: 93 According to the OED, a cudgel is a "short thick stick used as a weapon; a club."

    The Revelation of Jesus Christ

  • Paul volunteered that Stella's name had certainly given her an entrée into the fashion business, but that if she hadn't the talent or work ethic to stand on her own, the industry would have used that same name as a "cudgel" (his word) to deter her progress.

    John Farr: On Paul McCartney, and the Memories He Made

  • So, this Rosa Parks of convenience took up the cudgel of self-satisfaction a "cudgel" is a traditional Jewish dish, similar to a "kugel," and can be wielded as a weapon when stale.

    Metamorphosis: The More Things Change, The More They Shouldn't

  • Mr Stephenson said, however, that after considering everything and the defence document being used to 'cudgel' him he had concluded there was no realistic prospect of a conviction.

    Home | Mail Online

  • It is birch, from the remains of bark on the "cudgel" end, still flexible, but dry.

    Wanderin' Weeta (With Waterfowl and Weeds)

  • For no one hath put foot upon the boards this day such as we of Lincoln call a cudgel player. "

    The Adventures of Robin Hood

  • "Haha I can do this without you!" kind of cudgel to the crotch).

    Richard Carrier Blogs

Comments

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  • "A grevious crab-tree cudgel.
    John Bunyan (1628-1688), Pilgrim's Progress

    September 20, 2009

  • From Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law:

    Vulturo: Would you mind telling me if Johnny and Hadji know how to play baseball?

    Dr. Quest: Why, I'm not sure.

    Vulturo: I see, you're not sure.

    Dr. Quest: No, no, wait, wait a second. Yes, I lectured them several months ago because they were hitting a small white spheroid with a cudgel, bouncing it off the tractor beam housing, of all things!

    April 18, 2009

  • This word always makes me think of Pistol in "Henry V." "And from my weary limbs honor is cudgell'd." Or something like that.

    October 12, 2007

  • Ouch! Welcome, slumry--glad you're enjoying Wordie. I predict it will become even more pleasantly bewildering as you explore more. ;-)

    June 12, 2007


  • I am new to this site, and pleasantly bewildered.

    I was struck by the appearance of "cudgel" (pun intended, unforturantely) because I was thinking about that word just a day or so ago. It is a word my mother frequently used, always in the context of trying to recall something, as in: "I cudgeled my brain, but I just could not remember. . ."

    Now that I am past 50, I cudgel my brain frequently, often to no avail. I do have a visceral appreciation of the word "cudgel" now!

    June 12, 2007