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machete

[muh-shet-ee, -chet-ee]
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noun
  1. a large heavy knife used especially in Latin-American countries in cutting sugarcane and clearing underbrush and as a weapon.
  2. a tarpon, Elops affinis, of the eastern Pacific Ocean, having an elongated, compressed body.
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Origin of machete

1825–35; < Spanish, equivalent to mach(o) mallet (cf. mace1) + -ete noun suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for machete

machete

matchet

noun
  1. a broad heavy knife used for cutting or as a weapon, esp in parts of Central and South America
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Word Origin

C16 macheto, from Spanish machete, from macho club, perhaps from Vulgar Latin mattea (unattested) club
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 machete

n.

1590s (in pseudo-Spanish form macheto), from Spanish machete, probably a diminutive of macho "sledge hammer," alteration of mazo "club," which is probably [Barnhart] a dialectal variant of maza "mallet," from Vulgar Latin *mattea "war club" (see mace (n.1)). An alternative explanation traces macho to Latin marculus "a small hammer," diminutive of marcus "hammer," from a base parallel to that of Latin malleus (see mallet).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper