noun Archaic.

a sword or broadsword.

Origin of glaive

1250–1300; Middle English < Old French glaive, glai < Latin gladius sword
Related formsglaived, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for glaive

Historical Examples of glaive

  • Then Perceval went with the witches to their Castle of Glaive.

  • One after one to the glaive,—another and another and another!


    Edward Bulwer Lytton

  • It wasn't every one who could rhyme "brave" and "glaive," and make sense out of it.

    The Octopus

    Frank Norris

  • Red was his weed and his glaive was white, And there stood Gregory the Wright.

    Poems by the Way

    William Morris

  • They stood by the door with glaive and spear; ‘Hildebrand rise and hasten here!’

    Poems by the Way

    William Morris

British Dictionary definitions for glaive



an archaic word for sword
Derived Formsglaived, adjective

Word Origin for glaive

C13: from Old French: javelin, from Latin gladius sword
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 glaive

late 13c., used in Middle English of various weapons, from Old French glaive "lance, spear, sword," also figuratively used for "violent death" (12c.), from Latin gladius "sword" (see gladiator); influenced by clava "knotty branch, cudgel, club," related to clavus "nail."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper