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[pahy-luh m] /ˈpaɪ ləm/
noun, plural pila
[pahy-luh] /ˈpaɪ lə/ (Show IPA)
a javelin used in ancient Rome by legionaries, consisting of a three-foot-long shaft with an iron head of the same length.
Origin of pilum
From the Latin word pīlum dart, javelin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pilum
Historical Examples
  • The day of the sword and pilum had given place to that of the lance and bow.

  • I am a spearman, but I prefer the North spear and the pilum.

    Ulric the Jarl William O. Stoddard
  • Then picked he up a pilum from the hand of a slain legionary and he cast it with his might.

    Ulric the Jarl William O. Stoddard
  • I have heard that he casteth the pilum even better than do other Romans.

    Ulric the Jarl William O. Stoddard
  • Piliferous, bearing a slender bristle or hair (pilum), or beset with hairs.

  • He goes to pick up his pilum and returns to his place with it.

    Caesar and Cleopatra George Bernard Shaw
  • The pilum was the Roman pike, and the spatha the short single-edged Roman sword.

    Historic Girls E. S. Brooks
  • The pilum and the broadsword had vanquished the Macedonian spear.

    Lays of Ancient Rome Thomas Babbington Macaulay
  • The pilum was sometimes used at close quarters, but more commonly it was thrown.

  • The pilum is a stout wooden shaft 41 feet long, with an iron spit about three feet long fixed in it.

    Caesar and Cleopatra George Bernard Shaw

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