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

  • noun A long wooden staff formerly used as a weapon.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An old English weapon formed of a stout pole about 6½ feet long.

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

  • noun A long and stout staff formerly used as a weapon of defense and offense; -- so called because in holding it one hand was placed in the middle, and the other between the middle and the end.

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

  • noun A wooden staff of an approximate length between 2 and 2.5 meters, sometimes tipped with iron, used as a weapon in rural England during the Early Modern period.
  • noun Fighting or exercise with the quarterstaff.

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

  • noun a long stout staff used as a weapon


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

quarter +‎ staff, from ca. 1550. Probably originally refers to a staff cut from the hardwood of a certain size of tree which was cleft in four parts, as per OED.



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