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[al-puh n-stok] /ˈæl pənˌstɒk/
a strong staff with an iron point, used by mountain climbers.
Origin of alpenstock
1820-30; < German, equivalent to Alpen Alps + Stock staff Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for alpenstock
Historical Examples
  • He put the belt of his knapsack over his shoulder, and took his alpenstock in his hand.

    Rollo in Switzerland Jacob Abbott
  • "And I'll tell you her name;" and he leveled his alpenstock at his sister.

    Daisy Miller Henry James
  • Stand up as I do, and hold your alpenstock behind you like this.

    The Crystal Hunters George Manville Fenn
  • The staff was as useful to them as the alpenstock to the mountain climber in Switzerland.

  • There's a great stick in the corner that Uncle Joe calls his alpenstock.

    Little Lucy's Wonderful Globe Charlotte M. Yonge
  • “I think he is trying to break your alpenstock, Emma,” observed Lewis.

    Rivers of Ice R.M. Ballantyne
  • Lawrence rushed deep into the snow and held out his alpenstock.

    Rivers of Ice R.M. Ballantyne
  • Test the snow-bridges carefully with your alpenstock before you venture on them!

    Soap-Bubble Stories Fanny Barry
  • Pinchas was glad of his cane; an alpenstock would not have been superfluous.

    Ghetto Comedies

    Israel Zangwill
  • And observe, a man is respected in Switzerland according to his alpenstock.

    A Tramp Abroad, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
British Dictionary definitions for alpenstock


an early form of ice axe, consisting of a stout stick with an iron tip and sometimes having a pick and adze at the head, formerly used by mountain climbers
Word Origin
C19: from German, from AlpenAlps + Stockstick1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for alpenstock



"long iron-pointed staff used for hiking in mountains," 1829, German, literally "Alpine stick."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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