Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[kuhj-uh l] /ˈkʌdʒ əl/
a short, thick stick used as a weapon; club.
verb (used with object), cudgeled, cudgeling or (especially British) cudgelled, cudgelling.
to strike with a cudgel; beat.
cudgel one's brains, to try to comprehend or remember:
I cudgeled my brains to recall her name.
take up the cudgels, to come to the defense or aid of someone or something.
Origin of cudgel
before 900; Middle English cuggel, Old English cycgel; akin to German Kugel ball
Related forms
cudgeler; especially British, cudgeller, noun
uncudgeled, adjective
uncudgelled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for cudgel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then, with what a gracious dexterity he brandishes his cudgel!

    The Ned M'Keown Stories William Carleton
  • Skill with the rapier did not necessarily imply skill with the cudgel.

    The Lady of Loyalty House Justin Huntly McCarthy
  • Not sorry to have a weapon in addition to his cudgel, Charlie placed it in his belt, and then started with the bandits.

    A Jacobite Exile G. A. Henty
  • Walter relieved his mind by returning, “Oh that I could cudgel the rogue soundly!”

    The Pigeon Pie Charlotte M. Yonge
  • He griped the cudgel in his right hand, and struck the dancers with might and main, just as the old man had done.

    Twilight Land Howard Pyle
British Dictionary definitions for cudgel


a short stout stick used as a weapon
take up the cudgels, often foll by for or on behalf of. to join in a dispute, esp to defend oneself or another
verb -els, -elling, -elled (US) -els, -eling, -eled
(transitive) to strike with a cudgel or similar weapon
cudgel one's brains, to think hard about a problem
Derived Forms
cudgeller, noun
Word Origin
Old English cycgel; related to Middle Dutch koghele stick with knob
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for cudgel

Old English cycgel "club with rounded head;" perhaps from PIE root *geu- "to curve, bend."


"to beat with a cudgel," 1590s, from cudgel (n.). Related: Cudgeled; cudgeling.


"to beat with a cudgel," 1590s, from cudgel (n.). Related: Cudgeled; cudgeling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for cudgel

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for cudgel

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for cudgel