- a short, thick stick used as a weapon; club.
- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for cudgelled
Schomberg cudgelled his brains for a new topic, but he could not find one.Victory
They considered her a very fine lady because she was not afraid of them, but cudgelled them about.Old Rail Fence Corners
He had cudgelled his brain for days to find just the right subject.A Little Girl in Old Salem
Amanda Minnie Douglas
He cudgelled his memory, and at last he remembered it was the face of an old comrade.White Lies
She cudgelled her brains to devise some means of getting the better of her captives.The Mystery of the Green Ray
William Le Queux
- 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
- (tr) to strike with a cudgel or similar weapon
- cudgel one's brains to think hard about a problem
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
Word Origin and History for cudgelled
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