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Blech. These are the grossest words.


[lans, lahns] /læns, lɑns/
a long wooden shaft with a pointed metal head, used as a weapon by knights and cavalry soldiers in charging.
a cavalry soldier armed with such a weapon; lancer.
an implement resembling the weapon, as a spear for killing a harpooned whale.
(initial capital letter) Military. a U.S. Army surface-to-surface rocket with a range of 47 miles (75 km) and capable of carrying a tactical nuclear warhead.
a lancet.
  1. a tube having a nozzle for cleaning furnace walls and other inaccessible surfaces with air, water, or steam.
  2. a pipe for directing oxygen onto a heated metal object in order to burn a hole in it, the lance also being consumed so as to add to the heat.
verb (used with object), lanced, lancing.
to open with or as if with a lancet.
to pierce with a lance.
to cut through (concrete or the like) with an oxygen lance.
Origin of lance1
1250-1300; Middle English launce < Old French lance < Latin lancea (perhaps < Celtic)
Related forms
lancelike, adjective
unlanced, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for lancing
Historical Examples
  • lancing boils and abscesses with thorns had been his former habit, but he favored a nail for the purpose nowadays.

  • These are cases in which lancing the gums would do nothing but mischief.

  • The waning torrent, sardonic gesture of plenty in this ultimate citadel of thirst, splashed jewels against the lancing light.

    Dust of the Desert Robert Welles Ritchie
  • The whale, however, was lost, in consequence of cutting the line in the act of lancing him.

    The Arctic Whaleman Lewis Holmes
  • Well, with all his faults, lancing was a man of high courage.

    The Weight of the Crown Fred M. White
  • And if Captain lancing had shot himself that was proof positive.

    The Weight of the Crown Fred M. White
  • The business of lancing boils is not especially edifying in itself; but that particular minor operation probably saved India.

  • lancing is supposed to be derived from Wlencing, one of the sons of Ella.

    Seaward Sussex Edric Holmes
  • But the lancing heat that sprang from the muzzle of the gun never reached Manning.

    Empire Clifford Donald Simak
  • lancing gets his orders to open up in the sixth round and go down with the punch––and stay down!

    Once to Every Man Larry Evans
British Dictionary definitions for lancing


a long weapon with a pointed head used by horsemen to unhorse or injure an opponent
a similar weapon used for hunting, whaling, etc
(surgery) another name for lancet
the sand lance See sand eel
verb (transitive)
to pierce (an abscess or boil) with a lancet to drain off pus
to pierce with or as if with a lance
Word Origin
C13 launce, from Old French lance, from Latin lancea
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 lancing



late 13c. (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French lance (12c.), from Latin lancea "light spear, Spanish lance" (Italian lancia, Spanish lanza), possibly of Celt-Iberian origin. The French word spread into Germanic (cf. German Lanze, Middle Dutch lanse, Dutch lans, Danish landse). Lance corporal (1786) is from obsolete lancepesade "officer of lowest rank" (1570s), from Old Italian lancia spezzata "old soldier," literally "broken lance."


"to pierce with a lance," c.1300, from Old French lancier, from Late Latin lanceare "wield a lance; pierce with a lance," from lancea (see lance (n.)). The surgical sense (properly with reference to a lancet) is from late 15c. Related: Lanced; lancing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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lancing in Medicine

lance (lāns)
See lancet. v. lanced, lanc·ing, lanc·es
To make an incision in, as with a lancet.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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