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[pon-yerd] /ˈpɒn yərd/
a small, slender dagger.
verb (used with object)
to stab with a poniard.
Origin of poniard
1580-90; < French poignard, derivative of poing fist < Latin pugnus; see -ard Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for poniard
Historical Examples
  • He remembered giving her this poniard on the very day of her crime.

  • Ask him if he did not see this poniard in her room while she lay unburied in the house.

  • "Let me look at the poniard," she said, with unnatural gentleness.

  • His instruments were a silver cup, a poniard, and a handjar.

    Tancred Benjamin Disraeli
  • It cut to the heart's palpitating centre like a poniard thrust.

  • He did not want to use the poniard yet, but he longed to possess it.

    Romola George Eliot
  • This intelligence was like the stroke of a poniard to the feeling heart of Rosabella.

    The Bravo of Venice Heinrich Zschokke
  • He was not sure but a poniard glittered in the clenched hand of Anglique.

    The Golden Dog William Kirby
  • She accordingly offered a poniard to Messalina in the gardens, and urged her to take it.

    Nero Jacob Abbott
  • The mother pressed the poniard upon her daughter, saying, "Now is the time."

    Nero Jacob Abbott
British Dictionary definitions for poniard


a small dagger with a slender blade
(transitive) to stab with a poniard
Word Origin
C16: from Old French poignard dagger, from poing fist, from Latin pugnus; related to Latin pugnāre to fight
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 poniard

1580s, from Middle French poinard (early 16c.), from Old French poignal "dagger," literally "anything grasped with the fist," from poing "fist," from Latin pungus "fist," from PIE root *peuk- (see pugnacious). Probably altered in French by association with poindre "to stab." Cf. Latin pugnus "fist," pugio "dagger." As a verb from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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