Definitions

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

  • n. A short-handled hammer, usually with a cylindrical head of wood, used chiefly to drive a chisel or wedge.
  • n. A tool with a large head, used to strike a surface without damaging it.
  • n. Sports A long-handled implement used to strike a ball, as in croquet and polo.
  • n. Music A light hammer with a rounded head for striking a percussion instrument.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small maul with a short handle, used especially for driving a tool, as a chisel or the like.
  • n. A weapon resembling the tool, but typically much larger.
  • n. A light beetle with a long handle used in playing croquet.
  • n. The stick used to strike the ball in the sport of polo.
  • v. To strike with a mallet.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small maul with a short handle, -- used esp. for driving a tool, as a chisel or the like; also, a light beetle with a long handle, -- used in playing croquet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A small beetle or wooden hammer used by carpenters, stonecutters, printers, etc., chiefly for driving another tool, as a chisel, or the like. It is wielded with one hand, while the heavier mall requires the use of both hands.
  • n. The wooden hammer used to strike the balls in the game of croquet.
  • n. A dental hammer or plugger. See hammer.

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

  • n. a light drumstick with a rounded head that is used to strike such percussion instruments as chimes, kettledrums, marimbas, glockenspiels, etc.
  • n. a sports implement with a long handle and a head like a hammer; used in sports (polo or croquet) to hit a ball
  • n. a tool resembling a hammer but with a large head (usually wooden); used to drive wedges or ram down paving stones or for crushing or beating or flattening or smoothing

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French maillet, diminutive of mail, maul; see maul.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French mallet, maillet ("a wooden hammer, mallet"), diminutive of mal, mail ("a hammer"), from Latin malleus ("a hammer, mall, mallet"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • *snort*

    January 10, 2009

  • Well, they've just had some kind of mushroom
    And their minds are moving low.

    January 10, 2009

  • As I recall, both the hedgehogs and flamingos were more than a bit recalcitrant.

    January 10, 2009

  • Hitting them with flamingos! God, that Lewis Carroll...

    January 10, 2009

  • I know! I thought the same thing. But my adult mind (okay, sort of adult mind) tries to tell me that they were only tapping the hedgehogs, after all, and they were rolled up....

    Nah. Doesn't work.

    January 10, 2009

  • *marvels at the slowly-reappearing mental imagery of flamingo mallets from the illustrated children's book she had once*

    That's right! And they hit the hedgehogs, dammit! God, I hated that. Why would they hit the hedgehogs?!

    January 9, 2009

  • *wondering whether c_b is being sarcastic or earnest*

    January 9, 2009

  • I don't know! Do you think? *ponders*

    January 9, 2009

  • Ha! Is that a reference to Alice in Wonderland, c_b?

    January 9, 2009

  • The Cold War was fought with silly animals? Gosh. The things I've missed by being born in the '80s...

    January 9, 2009

  • Mallets were indeed beginning to turn into flamingos, and balls into hedgehogs.�?
    —John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History (New York: Penguin Books, 2005), 120.

    January 9, 2009