- 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 cudgelling
"Sir George is cudgelling his brain to show his gratitude to you," said Power.Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 1 (of 2)
He had known all day that something was coming, and had been cudgelling his brains finely.Beyond
To do it in three casts and cause it stand by dint of cudgelling?The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio
After cudgelling my memory for a while I suddenly remembered.The Red Cow and Her Friends
Laugh at your own cudgelling when you get it, and don't come here and laugh at mine.The Miser (L'Avare)
- 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 cudgelling
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