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cudgel

[kuhj-uh l] /ˈkʌdʒ əl/
noun
1.
a short, thick stick used as a weapon; club.
verb (used with object), cudgeled, cudgeling or (especially British) cudgelled, cudgelling.
2.
to strike with a cudgel; beat.
Idioms
3.
cudgel one's brains, to try to comprehend or remember:
I cudgeled my brains to recall her name.
4.
take up the cudgels, to come to the defense or aid of someone or something.
Origin of cudgel
900
before 900; Middle English cuggel, Old English cycgel; akin to German Kugel ball
Related forms
cudgeler; especially British, cudgeller, noun
uncudgeled, adjective
uncudgelled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cudgel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Down went the Dumb man, and away flew his cudgel from his hand as he fell.

  • Hereupon the woman grew angry and struck at him with a cudgel.

  • But cudgel his brain as he would, he could only think of asking: 'Pray, what is your name?'

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • Coupeau had a cudgel, which he called his ass's fan, and he fanned his old woman.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • “If it is to come to fighting,” said Pharaoh, gripping his cudgel.

    In the Days of Drake J. S. Fletcher
British Dictionary definitions for cudgel

cudgel

/ˈkʌdʒəl/
noun
1.
a short stout stick used as a weapon
2.
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
3.
(transitive) to strike with a cudgel or similar weapon
4.
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
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Word Origin and History for cudgel
n.

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

v.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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