• synonyms


[al-puh n-stok]
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  1. a strong staff with an iron point, used by mountain climbers.
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Origin of alpenstock

1820–30; < German, equivalent to Alpen Alps + Stock staff
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

cane, crutch, staff, stick, alpenstock, shillelagh

Examples from the Web for alpenstock

Historical Examples

  • He put the belt of his knapsack over his shoulder, and took his alpenstock in his hand.

    Rollo in Switzerland

    Jacob Abbott

  • "And I'll tell you her name;" and he leveled his alpenstock at his sister.

    Daisy Miller

    Henry James

  • Stand up as I do, and hold your alpenstock behind you like this.

    The Crystal Hunters

    George Manville Fenn

  • The staff was as useful to them as the alpenstock to the mountain climber in Switzerland.

  • There's a great stick in the corner that Uncle Joe calls his alpenstock.

British Dictionary definitions for alpenstock


  1. an early form of ice axe, consisting of a stout stick with an iron tip and sometimes having a pick and adze at the head, formerly used by mountain climbers
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Word Origin

C19: from German, from Alpen Alps + Stock stick 1
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 alpenstock



"long iron-pointed staff used for hiking in mountains," 1829, German, literally "Alpine stick."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper