- a short, heavy, slightly curved sword with a single cutting edge, formerly used by sailors.
Origin of cutlass
Related Wordsbayonet, dagger, blade, sword, skewer, machete, sickle, cutter, scalpel, pistol, bomb, gun, missile, cannon, rifle, ammunition, firearm, knife, shotgun, revolver
Examples from the Web for cutlass
He ducked instinctively, striking upward with his cutlass as he did so.Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates
The point of the cutlass just passed my hip-bone, and gave me a smart flesh-wound.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
Use only the cutlass when you gain the parapet and ply like men.Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer
Cyrus Townsend Brady
And signing to one of the men to join Darby at the door, he drew his cutlass.The Wild Geese
Stanley John Weyman
His belt was tightly drawn round his waist, and his cutlass hung from it.Hair Breadth Escapes
T. S. Arthur
- a curved, one-edged sword formerly used by sailors
Word Origin and History for cutlass
1590s, from Middle French coutelas (16c.), probably from Italian coltellaccio "large knife" (with augmentative suffix -accio), from coltello "knife," from Latin cultellus "small knife," diminutive of culter "knife, plowshare," from PIE *kel-tro-, from root *(s)kel- "to cut" (see scale (n.1)).