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2017 Word of the Year

pommel

[puhm-uh l, pom-] /ˈpʌm əl, ˈpɒm-/
noun
1.
a knob, as on the hilt of a sword.
2.
the protuberant part at the front and top of a saddle.
3.
Architecture. a spherical ornament or finial.
4.
Gymnastics. either of the two curved handles on the top surface of a side horse.
verb (used with object), pommeled, pommeling or (especially British) pommelled, pommelling.
5.
to beat or strike with or as if with the fists or a pommel.
Also, pummel.
Origin of pommel
1300-1350
1300-50; (noun) Middle English pomel < Middle French, derivative of Old French pom hilt of a sword < Latin pōmum fruit; see pome, -elle
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for pommel
Historical Examples
  • No maker's name, but the date 1638 is stamped upon the pommel.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • He threw a leg over the pommel of his saddle and the three men halted in a group.

    Dr. Sevier George W. Cable
  • De Spain raised his right hand from his thigh to the pommel of his saddle.

    Nan of Music Mountain Frank H. Spearman
  • He had clenched his teeth and clung to the pommel desperately.

    Oh, You Tex! William Macleod Raine
  • She turned and put her hand on the pommel, and sprang into the saddle.

    The Mermaid

    Lily Dougall
  • The two swords sparkled from point to pommel like two diamond pins.

  • The First Sergeant was talking gently, leaning over his pommel.

  • "I'd like to be sure of that," he answered, his gloved hand on the pommel.

    Jewel Clara Louise Burnham
  • Maqueda answered, striking the pommel of her saddle with her small hand.

    Queen Sheba's Ring H. Rider Haggard
  • The pommel was probably globular, and formed of lead or some heavy material.

British Dictionary definitions for pommel

pommel

/ˈpʌməl; ˈpɒm-/
noun
1.
the raised part on the front of a saddle
2.
a knob at the top of a sword or similar weapon
verb -mels, -melling, -melled (US) -mels, -meling, -meled
3.
a less common word for pummel
Word Origin
C14: from Old French pomel knob, from Vulgar Latin pōmellum (unattested) little apple, from Latin pōmum apple
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 pommel
n.

mid-13c., "ornamental knob;" c.1300, "knob at the end of a sword hilt," from Old French pomel (12c., Modern French pommeau), "rounded knob," diminutive of pom "hilt of a sword," from Late Latin pomellum, diminutive of Latin pomum "apple" (see Pomona), the connecting notion being "roundness." Sense of "front peak of a saddle" first recorded mid-15c. In Middle English poetry it also sometimes meant a woman's breast. The gymnast's pommel horse is attested from 1908.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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12
16
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