[kley-mawr, -mohr]


a two-handed sword with a double-edged blade, used by Scottish Highlanders in the 16th century.
a Scottish broadsword with a basket hilt.

Origin of claymore

First recorded in 1765–75, claymore is from the Scots Gaelic word claidheamh mòr great sword Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for claymore

Historical Examples of claymore

  • As gently as possible she broke the news to Mrs. Weems that she might make another trip to Claymore.

  • In an hour—if the wind went swingin' round—the Royal Bloodhound an' the Claymore would be floatin' free.

  • They are all I can call my own, except my plaid and my claymore.

    A Legend of Montrose

    Sir Walter Scott

  • It was well on toward sunset when Claymore reached the mountain village where Celia was staying with a party of friends.

  • I have seen it many times since; I have seen it at Claymore Tavern.

    Dark Hollow

    Anna Katherine Green

British Dictionary definitions for claymore



a large two-edged broadsword used formerly by Scottish Highlanders
a US type of antipersonnel mine

Word Origin for claymore

C18: from Gaelic claidheamh mōr great sword
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 claymore

1749, "two-edged broadsword of ancient Scottish Highlanders," from Gaelic claidheamh mor "great sword," from claidheb "sword" (cf. Welsh cleddyf), possibly from PIE root *kel- "to strike" (see holt) + mor "great" (cf. Welsh mawr; see more). An antiquarian word made familiar again by Scott's novels; modern military application to pellet-scattering anti-personnel mine is first attested 1962.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper