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assagai

[as-uh-gahy]
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noun, plural as·sa·gais, verb (used with object), as·sa·gaied, as·sa·gai·ing.
  1. assegai.

assegai

or as·sa·gai

[as-uh-gahy]
noun, plural as·se·gais.
  1. the slender javelin or spear of the Bantu-speaking people of southern Africa.
  2. a southern African tree, Curtisia dentata, of the dogwood family, from whose wood such spears are made.
verb (used with object), as·se·gaied, as·se·gai·ing.
  1. to pierce with an assegai.

Origin of assegai

1615–25; earlier azagaia < Portuguese < Arabic az zaghāyah, equivalent to al the + Berber zaghāyah assegai
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for assagai

Historical Examples

  • Mr Pringle had just fired his rifle, and was reloading when the assagai struck him.

    Six Months at the Cape

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • Opposition was offered, and the officer in command wounded with an assagai.

  • A third ran forward while Pringle was loading and threw an assagai at him.

  • Jerry referred to a wound which an assagai aimed at his heart had that day inflicted on his nose.

  • He urged his horse to greater exertion, and kept stabbing at his pursuer with an assagai.


British Dictionary definitions for assagai

assagai

noun plural -gais
  1. a variant spelling of assegai

assegai

assagai

noun plural -gais
  1. a southern African cornaceous tree, Curtisia faginea, the wood of which is used for making spears
  2. a sharp light spear, esp one made of this wood

Word Origin

C17: from Portuguese azagaia, from Arabic az zaghāyah, from al the + zaghāyah assegai, from Berber
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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