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[spon-toon] /spɒnˈtun/
a shafted weapon having a pointed blade with crossbar at its base, used by infantry officers in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Also called half-pike.
Origin of spontoon
1590-1600; < French esponton < Italian spuntone, equivalent to s- ex-1 + puntone kind of weapon (literally, pointed object) (punt(o) point + -one augmentative suffix) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for spontoon
Historical Examples
  • Lady Emily is to be your nurse, and spontoon and I your attendants.

    Waverley Sir Walter Scott
  • We have taken measures to exclude all servants but spontoon, who is as true as steel.'

    Waverley Sir Walter Scott
  • The wolves which had been feasting on these carcasses were very fat, and so gentle that one of them was killed with a spontoon.

  • spontoon' (to an elderly military-looking servant out of livery),'take away these things, and answer the bell yourself, if I ring.

  • I must send spontoon to see what she is about; he will find her out among the old regimental connections.

  • I must send spontoon to see what she is about; he will find her out among the old regimental connexions.

    Waverley Sir Walter Scott
  • When Balbi wrote that his walls were hung with pictures of saints, it became a question of conveying the spontoon to him.

  • Holding his spontoon ready, but concealed under his coat, he stepped to the side of the door.

  • My mercer had his spontoon in his hand, as if he measured his cloth by that implement, instead of a legitimate yard.

    The Antiquary, Complete Sir Walter Scott
British Dictionary definitions for spontoon


a form of halberd carried by some junior infantry officers in the 18th and 19th centuries
Word Origin
C18: from French esponton, from Italian spuntone, from puntopoint
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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