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[sek-uh-ter, -tur]
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noun (used with a singular or plural verb) Chiefly British.
  1. scissors or shears, especially pruning shears.

Origin of secateurs

1880–85; < French < Latin sec(āre) to cut (see secant) + French -ateurs (plural) < Latin -ātor -ator
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for secateurs


pl n
  1. mainly British a small pair of shears for pruning, having a pair of pivoted handles, sprung so that they are normally open, and usually a single cutting blade that closes against a flat surface

Word Origin

C19: plural of French sécateur, from Latin secāre to cut
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

Word Origin and History for secateurs


pruning shears, 1881, from French sécateur, ultimately from Latin secare "to cut" (see section (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper