• synonyms


[hal-berd, hawl-, hol-; formerly haw-berd]
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  1. a shafted weapon with an axlike cutting blade, beak, and apical spike, used especially in the 15th and 16th centuries.
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Also hal·bert [hal-bert, hawl-, hol-; formerly haw-bert] /ˈhæl bərt, ˈhɔl-, ˈhɒl-; formerly ˈhɔ bərt/.

Origin of halberd

1485–95; earlier haubert < Middle French hallebarde < Middle Low German helmbarde, equivalent to helm handle (cognate with helm1) + barde broadax (cognate with Middle High German barte)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

bayonet, pike, weapon, bill, javelin, partisan, gar, lancet, halberd, partizan

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British Dictionary definitions for halberd


halbert (ˈhælbət)

  1. a weapon consisting of a long shaft with an axe blade and a pick, topped by a spearhead: used in 15th- and 16th-century warfare
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Derived Formshalberdier, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Old French hallebarde, from Middle High German helm handle, helm 1 + barde axe, from Old High German bart beard
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 halberd


late 15c., from Middle French hallebarde (earlier alabarde, 15c.), from Middle High German halmbarte "broad-axe with handle," from halm "handle" (see helm) + barte "hatchet," possibly from Proto-Germanic *bardoz "beard," also "hatchet, broadax." Alternative etymology [Kluge, Darmesteter] traces first element to helm "helmet," making the weapon an axe for smashing helmets.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper