- 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
before 900; Middle English cuggel, Old English cycgel; akin to German Kugel ball
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Wordsexcoriate, scold, berate, upbraid, castigate, assail, knock, pelt, trounce, punch, crush, thrash, smack, batter, bash, wallop, lash, flog, maul, whip
Examples from the Web for cudgeled
At tampes, the mayor who promulgates the law is cudgeled to death.The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 2 (of 6)
Hippolyte A. Taine
I slackened my pace, and cudgeled my brain, as the saying is, for some moments.A New Sensation
Mullen, batting for Pipp, cudgeled the ball to left, and Baker and Gedeon counted.News Writing
M. Lyle Spencer
He cudgeled his brains as to what answer he could make to the Emperor.Twenty-Four Unusual Stories for Boys and Girls
Anna Cogswell Tyler
He cudgeled his brains to invent some reasonable excuse for bidding her farewell.The Great Mogul
- 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
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
Word Origin and History for cudgeled
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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper