Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A short heavy sword with a curved single-edged blade, once used as a weapon by sailors.
  • noun Caribbean A machete.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun See cutlas.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A short, heavy, curving sword, used in the navy. See curtal ax.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun nautical A short sword with a curved blade, and a convex edge; once used by sailors when boarding an enemy ship.
  • noun A similarly shaped tool; a machete.

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

  • noun a short heavy curved sword with one edge; formerly used by sailors

Etymologies

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

[French coutelas, from Old French coutelasse, probably augmentative of coutel, knife, from Latin cultellus, diminutive of culter, knife; see skel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French coutelas, from Old French coutel ("knife") + -as (augmentative suffix)

Examples

  • The cutlass was a clumsy weapon, but sea fighting was hardly a fine art.

    Sharpe's Devil

  • The cutlass was a clumsy weapon, but sea fighting was hardly a fine art.

    Sharpe's Devil

  • A sword hanging on slings could be a hindrance, would strike against obstructions, and the cutlass was a handier weapon for what he contemplated.

    Hornblower And The Hotspur

  • In the literature of the eighteenth century the warrant is inseparably associated with the short, incurvated service sword commonly known as the cutlass or hanger; but in the press-gang prints of the period the gangsmen are generally armed with stout clubs answering to Smollett's

    The Press-Gang Afloat and Ashore

  • National Security information yesterday was that a Tobago diver, assisting in the searches near the murder scene, discovered a cutlass, which is believed to be the murder weapon, as well as a discarded pair of boots, believed to have been worn by the killer, in a nearby lagoon.

    TrinidadExpress Today's News

  • Muscari (with much boyish gratification) buckled on a kind of cutlass under his black cloak.

    The Complete Father Brown

  • Muscari (with much boyish gratification) buckled on a kind of cutlass under his black cloak.

    The Complete Father Brown

  • Africa, we must be careful not to fall into the trap of lowering our democratic guard thus allowing the undemocratic forces, which always will have a hidden 'cutlass', to do what 'Falsehood' did to

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Africa, we must be careful not to fall into the trap of lowering our democratic guard thus allowing the undemocratic forces, which always will have a hidden 'cutlass', to do what 'Falsehood' did to

    Address at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs

  • The courier and the young banker carried loaded revolvers, and Muscari (with much boyish gratification) buckled on a kind of cutlass under his black cloak.

    The Wisdom of Father Brown

Comments

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  • “The Vought F7U Cutlass was a United States Navy carrier-based jet fighter and fighter-bomber of the early Cold War era. It was a highly unusual, semi-tailless design, allegedly based on aerodynamic data and plans captured from the Arado company at the end of World War II, though Vought designers denied any link to the German research at the time.�? More on Wikipedia.

    December 30, 2008