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assegai

or as·sa·gai

[as-uh-gahy]
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noun, plural as·se·gais.
  1. the slender javelin or spear of the Bantu-speaking people of southern Africa.
  2. a southern African tree, Curtisia dentata, of the dogwood family, from whose wood such spears are made.
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verb (used with object), as·se·gaied, as·se·gai·ing.
  1. to pierce with an assegai.
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Origin of assegai

1615–25; earlier azagaia < Portuguese < Arabic az zaghāyah, equivalent to al the + Berber zaghāyah assegai
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for assegai

pistol, bomb, sword, gun, missile, cannon, rifle, machete, ammunition, firearm, knife, shotgun, revolver, catapult, dagger, spear, bayonet, ax, bludgeon, spike

Examples from the Web for assegai

Historical Examples of assegai

  • If I hurl my assegai at another, another hurls his assegai at me, and in a measure we are quits.

    The Conquest of Fear

    Basil King

  • Suddenly, without a sound, Bombyane shook his assegai and rushed straight at me.

    Allan's Wife

    H. Rider Haggard

  • Then one of them lifted his assegai and drove it through his breast.

  • Then the guns were to be thrown down and we must charge with the assegai.

    Maiwa's Revenge

    H. Rider Haggard

  • The Bushman hesitated, but finally lowered his assegai and accepted the gift.


British Dictionary definitions for assegai

assegai

assagai

noun plural -gais
  1. a southern African cornaceous tree, Curtisia faginea, the wood of which is used for making spears
  2. a sharp light spear, esp one made of this wood
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Word Origin for assegai

C17: from Portuguese azagaia, from Arabic az zaghāyah, from al the + zaghāyah assegai, from Berber
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