from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A kind of blowgun for discharging arrows, used by indigenous peoples of Borneo and adjacent islands.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of blowgun for discharging arrows, -- used by the savages of Borneo and adjacent islands.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The blow-gun of the Malays and the Dyaks of Borneo.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The sumpitan is a piece of hard wood, from six to eight feet in length and in circumference slightly larger than the handle of a broom.

    Where the Strange Trails Go Down Sulu, Borneo, Celebes, Bali, Java, Sumatra, Straits Settlements, Malay States, Siam, Cambodia, Annam, Cochin-China

  • The sumpitan is a kind of blow-gun, like the "bean-blower" formerly used by American boys, which was a tin pipe, or the "pea-shooter," an English plaything.

    Four Young Explorers or, Sight-Seeing in the Tropics

  • On leaving the house we noticed several blow-pipes, a hollow tube eight feet long called by the Poonans "sumpitan," the chief weapon of this tribe, and in the manufacture of which they greatly excel.

    On the Equator

  • Their weapon is the sumpitan, a blow-gun, from which poisoned arrows are expelled.

    The Golden Chersonese and the way thither

  • I observed those flat, evil faces sweeping down on us behind their glittering lance-heads and kampilans, and decided they weren't open to discussion; there was nothing for it but to sit and blaze away in panic - and then a red-hot pain shot through my left ribs, and I looked down bewildered to see a sumpitan shaft in my side.

    Flashman's Lady

  • "Let's see you puff your pop-gun, Johnny," cries one of the tars, and they swung a champagne cork on a string as a target, twenty yards off; one of the grinning little brutes slipped a dart into his sumpitan, clapped it to his mouth - and in a twinkling there was the cork, jerking on its string, transfixed by the foot-long needle.

    Flashman's Lady

  • A seaman at my elbow screamed and stood up, tearing at a sumpitan dart in his arm; as I dived for the cover of the rail another stood quivering in a cable a foot from my face; Brooke leaned over, grinning, snapped it off, tossed it away, and then did an unbelievable thing.

    Flashman's Lady

  • There was a Malay steward behind each chair, and over in the corner, silent but missing nothing, the squint-faced Jingo; even he had exchanged his loin-cloth for a silver sarong, with hornbill feathers in his hair and decorating the shaft of his sumpitan* (* Blowpipe.) standing handy against the wall.

    Flashman's Lady

  • On the third day a little Chink doctor visited me with the steward, but he didn't have a word of English, and busied himself impassively examining the sumpitan-wound in my guts - which was fairly healed, and barely ached - while remaining deaf to my demands to see Solomon.

    Flashman's Lady

  • There's a hundred mile o 'river between Skrang creek and the sea, every yard o' it hotchin 'wi' pirates, slavers, nata-hutan, * (* "Wood devils", i.e. users of the sumpitan). an 'heid-hunters by the thousand, every side-stream crawlin' wi 'war-praus an' bankongs, tae say nothin 'o' the forts!

    Flashman's Lady


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  • His tweeting’s vituperative art

    And close to his putative heart.

    Some spittle to pump it in

    The Trumpian sumpatan

    Then blowhard delivers his dart.

    May 2, 2018