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[mal-it] /ˈmæl ɪt/
a hammerlike tool with a head commonly of wood but occasionally of rawhide, plastic, etc., used for driving any tool with a wooden handle, as a chisel, or for striking a surface.
the wooden implement used to strike the balls in croquet.
Polo. the long-handled stick, or club, used to drive the ball.
Origin of mallet
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English maillet < Middle French, equivalent to mail maul + -et -et Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mallet
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • mallet did as ordered, and was off in less than three minutes after we got alongside.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • I told mallet if he would cook a goose, I would tip one over.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • I managed to get the helm hard up, and mallet jumped inboard.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • A stroke of the mallet may be more effective than the sculptor had hoped; but it was intended.

    A Dish Of Orts George MacDonald
  • But the chisel slipped, the mallet fell too heavily, and he stopped.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • With an inarticulate shout Pete went to the parlour and caught up the mallet.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • My weight on the end of the rope hit me behind the ears like a mallet.

British Dictionary definitions for mallet


a tool resembling a hammer but having a large head of wood, copper, lead, leather, etc, used for driving chisels, beating sheet metal, etc
a long stick with a head like a hammer used to strike the ball in croquet or polo
(mainly US) a very large powerful steam locomotive with a conventional boiler but with two separate articulated engine units
Word Origin
C15: from Old French maillet wooden hammer, diminutive of mailmaul (n)
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 mallet

late 14c., from Old French maillet "mallet, small wooden hammer, door-knocker," diminutive of mail, from Latin malleus "a hammer," from PIE *mal-ni-, from root *mele-, *mel- "to crush, grind," with derivatives referring to ground material and tools for grinding (cf. Hittite mallanzi "they grind;" Armenian malem "I crush, bruise;" Greek malakos "soft," mylos "millstone;" Latin molere "to grind," mola "millstone, mill," milium "millet;" Old English melu "meal, flour;" Albanian miel "meal, flour;" Old Church Slavonic meljo, Lithuanian malu "to grind;" Old Church Slavonic mlatu, Russian molotu "hammer").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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