cudgel

[kuhj-uh l]
See more synonyms for cudgel on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), cudg·eled, cudg·el·ing, or (especially British) cudg·elled, cudg·el·ling.
  1. to strike with a cudgel; beat.
Idioms
  1. cudgel one's brains, to try to comprehend or remember: I cudgeled my brains to recall her name.
  2. 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. 2018


Examples from the Web for cudgeling

Historical Examples of cudgeling

  • He will come quicklier than for cudgeling him as thou dost.'

  • I was just cudgeling my brains for a suitable form in which to present my request.

    Trusia

    Davis Brinton

  • Tom had been cudgeling his brains to remember all that Old Sol had told him about his favorite places for setting his mink traps.

    Rocky Mountain Boys

    St. George Rathborne

  • One was driven by wind and sun; even the clouds took a hand in cudgeling one on.

    The Camerons of Highboro

    Beth B. Gilchrist

  • They walked out to the avenue, Joe cudgeling his brains as to what the next step should be.


British Dictionary definitions for cudgeling

cudgel

noun
  1. a short stout stick used as a weapon
  2. 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
  1. (tr) to strike with a cudgel or similar weapon
  2. 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

Word Origin and History for cudgeling

cudgel

n.

Old English cycgel "club with rounded head;" perhaps from PIE root *geu- "to curve, bend."

cudgel

v.

"to beat with a cudgel," 1590s, from cudgel (n.). Related: Cudgeled; cudgeling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper