- a short, thick stick used as a weapon; club.
- to strike with a cudgel; beat.
- cudgel one's brains, to try to comprehend or remember: I cudgeled my brains to recall her name.
- take up the cudgels, to come to the defense or aid of someone or something.
Origin of cudgel
Examples from the Web for cudgel
You have this privilege to be famous and you use it as a cudgel?Canada’s Subversive Sock Puppet: Ed the Sock Isn’t Afraid to Say Anything
November 13, 2014
Gina Dominguez, the spokeswoman for Gov. Javier Duarte and his cudgel with the local press, resigned a mere three days later.Mexican Journalists Speak Out on Reporter Murders
June 17, 2014
The insane, obscene, yawning difference between the pay of workers and bosses has long been used as a cudgel by labor groups.The SEC Can’t Make CEOs Care About Their Employees
September 19, 2013
They just want any cudgel they can find to beat Obama over the head, so Snowden suits their purposes for now.Snowden and the Right
June 10, 2013
The cudgel that President Obama is whacking House Republicans with is the cudgel they themselves put in his hand.Sequestration Empowered President Obama
April 25, 2013
Down went the Dumb man, and away flew his cudgel from his hand as he fell.The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
Hereupon the woman grew angry and struck at him with a cudgel.The Chinese Fairy Book
But cudgel his brain as he would, he could only think of asking: 'Pray, what is your name?'His Masterpiece
Coupeau had a cudgel, which he called his ass's fan, and he fanned his old woman.L'Assommoir
“If it is to come to fighting,” said Pharaoh, gripping his cudgel.In the Days of Drake
J. S. Fletcher
- a short stout stick used as a weapon
- take up the cudgels (often foll by for or on behalf of) to join in a dispute, esp to defend oneself or another
- (tr) to strike with a cudgel or similar weapon
- cudgel one's brains to think hard about a problem
Word Origin and History for cudgel
Old English cycgel "club with rounded head;" perhaps from PIE root *geu- "to curve, bend."
"to beat with a cudgel," 1590s, from cudgel (n.). Related: Cudgeled; cudgeling.