Try Our Apps


World Series Quiz


[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. 2016.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for cudgeling
Historical Examples
  • And during the whole of the dance he was cudgeling his brains as to the meaning of pretty Michal's words.

    Pretty Michal Mr Jkai
  • They walked out to the avenue, Joe cudgeling his brains as to what the next step should be.

    Baseball Joe on the Giants Lester Chadwick
  • “But I can not now recall ever having dared to find fault with you, Mademoiselle,” I said, cudgeling my brains.

    Francezka Molly Elliot Seawell
  • Edouard was in despair, and Lampin was cudgeling his brains, swearing that they should not take him alive.

  • Tom had been cudgeling his brains to remember all that Old Sol had told him about his favorite places for setting his mink traps.

    Rocky Mountain Boys St. George Rathborne
  • There is a possibility, he said, as one cudgeling his brains to recall something once known but long out of memory.

  • She carried a cane in her bony right hand and the notion came to me that she was looking for bad boys who deserved a cudgeling.

    The Light in the Clearing Irving Bacheller
  • Here have I been cudgeling my brains all day to devise means to retain a cook that will please you!

    Wanted: A Cook Alan Dale
  • He was surprised to find that by cudgeling his memory he had no need to call upon imagination to furnish interesting details.

    The Missing Formula Mildred A. Wirt, AKA Ann Wirt
  • Mullins began to appreciate the situation, and he was cudgeling his brains for an explanation.

    Chester Rand Horatio Alger, Jr
British Dictionary definitions for cudgeling


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 cudgeling



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.

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 cudgeling

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for cudgeling