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

  • noun An instrument, such as a cane, stick, or flat piece of wood, used in punishing children.
  • transitive verb To punish with a ferule.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A reed; a cane.
  • noun A cane, rod, or flat piece of wood, as a ruler, used for the punishment of children in schools by striking some part of the body, particularly the palm of the hand.
  • noun See ferrule.
  • To punish with a ferule.

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

  • noun A flat piece of wood, used for striking, children, esp. on the hand, in punishment.
  • noun rare A ferrule.
  • transitive verb To punish with a ferule.

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

  • noun A ruler-shaped instrument, generally used to slap naughty children on the hand.
  • verb transitive To punish with a ferule.

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

  • noun a switch (a stick or cane or flat paddle) used to punish children


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

[Middle English ferul, fennel stalk, from Latin ferula, fennel stalk, rod.]


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  • A ferule was a sort of flat ruler, widened at the inflicting end into a shape resembling a pear, -- but nothing like so sweet, -- with a delectable hole in the middle to raise blisters, like a cupping-glass.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 85, November, 1864 Various

  • The addition of a ferule was the next step; and the omission of the tang, and amalgamation of the ferule with the blade, gave rise to the socketed spear-head.

    The Bronze Age in Ireland George Coffey 1886

  • The ferule was a name given both to the bamboo and to the yellow cane, which grew plentifully both in the islands of the Greek Archipelago and in

    Roman life in the days of Cicero Alfred John Church 1870

  • The insulation from the copper wall is made by a rubber stopper through which this piping is passed, the stopper being crowded into a brass ferule which is stoutly soldered to the copper wall.

    Respiration Calorimeters for Studying the Respiratory Exchange and Energy Transformations of Man Francis Gano Benedict 1913

  • I'm glad that hating on interiority is still ok because a significant portion of my book is about that, and I wouldn't want to end up on the wrong side of the ferule. anumma commented at 6:34 PM~

    Ferule & Fescue Flavia 2010

  • If I can't find a pipe maker to tinker with this ferule or make me a new one, we may be looking at digging way down deep in the saddlebags and funding a new border pipe.

    Obituaries John 2008

  • And I think a crack has developed in the top ferule of the bass drone.

    Obituaries John 2008

  • They are masters who instruct us without rod or ferule, without angry words, without clothes or money.

    The Love of Books : The Philobiblon of Richard de Bury 2007

  • Soon after disengaging himself with perfect good humour, he had a sensation of the ferule in his back; immediately afterwards, of the hook entangling his ankles; then of the umbrella generally, wandering about his hat, and flapping at it like a great bird; and, lastly, of a poke or thrust below the ribs, which give him such exceeding anguish, that he could not refrain from turning round to offer a mild remonstrance.

    The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit 2006

  • As for the name of this blog: the ferule and fescue were the two most important instruments of the schoolmaster of old--his rod or cane (ferule) and his pointer (fescue).

    Archive 2006-05-01 Flavia 2006


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