• synonyms


[kley-mawr, -mohr]
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  1. a two-handed sword with a double-edged blade, used by Scottish Highlanders in the 16th century.
  2. a Scottish broadsword with a basket hilt.

Origin of claymore

First recorded in 1765–75, claymore is from the Scots Gaelic word claidheamh mòr great sword
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for claymore

Historical Examples

  • Nor less emphatic is his railing at the plaid and blaspheming at the claymore.

    The Book-Hunter

    John Hill Burton

  • I thought the weather guaranteed me a season's rest, but here's the claymore again!

    John Splendid

    Neil Munro

  • He then drew his claymore, and cut the cords which bound the intended victim.

  • Donald Roy leaped to his feet, waved his sword and shouted “Claymore!”

    A Daughter of Raasay

    William MacLeod Raine

  • The former was laid dead on the ground by a stroke from a claymore.

British Dictionary definitions for claymore


  1. a large two-edged broadsword used formerly by Scottish Highlanders
  2. a US type of antipersonnel mine

Word Origin

C18: from Gaelic claidheamh mōr great sword
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

Word Origin and History for claymore


1749, "two-edged broadsword of ancient Scottish Highlanders," from Gaelic claidheamh mor "great sword," from claidheb "sword" (cf. Welsh cleddyf), possibly from PIE root *kel- "to strike" (see holt) + mor "great" (cf. Welsh mawr; see more). An antiquarian word made familiar again by Scott's novels; modern military application to pellet-scattering anti-personnel mine is first attested 1962.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper