noun, plural cou·teaux [koo-tohz; French koo-toh] /kuˈtoʊz; French kuˈtoʊ/.

a knife, especially a large double-edged one formerly carried as a weapon.

Origin of couteau

1670–80; < French; Old French coutel < Latin cultellus; see cultellus Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for couteau

Historical Examples of couteau

  • A curiously-formed ridge, a couteau des prairies on a small scale, traversed the plain from east to west.

  • This was crossed by another shoulder belt, to which was hung a hunting knife, or couteau de chasse.

    Quentin Durward

    Sir Walter Scott

  • With the couteau croche, the crooked knife of the North, Dick laboured slowly, fashioning with care the long tamarack strips.

    The Silent Places

    Steward Edward White

  • Among these was a couteau de chasse, with a double-barrelled pistol in a handle of jade.

    Pickle the Spy

    Andrew Lang

  • The so called "Roman swords" are "anelaces," and a couteau de chasse of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

British Dictionary definitions for couteau


noun plural -teaux (-ˈtəʊz)

a large two-edged knife used formerly as a weapon

Word Origin for couteau

C17: from Old French coutel, from Latin cultellus a little knife, from culter knife, ploughshare
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