cudgel

[ kuhj-uh l ]
/ ˈkʌdʒ əl /
|

noun

a short, thick stick used as a weapon; club.

verb (used with object), cudg·eled, cudg·el·ing, or (especially British) cudg·elled, cudg·el·ling.

to strike with a cudgel; beat.

Idioms

    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

before 900; Middle English cuggel, Old English cycgel; akin to German Kugel ball
Related formscudg·el·er; especially British, cud·gel·ler, nounun·cudg·eled, adjectiveun·cudg·elled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for cudgel one's brains

cudgel

/ (ˈkʌdʒəl) /

noun

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

verb -els, -elling or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled

(tr) to strike with a cudgel or similar weapon
cudgel one's brains to think hard about a problem
Derived Formscudgeller, noun

Word Origin for cudgel

Old English cycgel; related to Middle Dutch koghele stick with knob
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

Idioms and Phrases with cudgel one's brains

cudgel one's brains


see rack one's brains.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.