- an instrument for loosening the soil in digging, shaped like a pickax, but having one end broad instead of pointed.
Origin of mattock
Examples from the Web for mattock
Then lift each plant with a spade or mattock slowly and skillfully.The Mayflower, January, 1905
The stone yielded, and he proceeded to work with the mattock.Clarimonde
As they passed the foot of the stairs, Macloud picked up a mattock.In Her Own Right
John Reed Scott
The mattock and the plow Will take the place of Pan and Satyr now.Conservation Reader
Harold W. Fairbanks
If the blade of the mattock is deformed, it should be straightened in a vise.Manual of Military Training
James A. Moss
- a type of large pick that has one end of its blade shaped like an adze, used for loosening soil, cutting roots, etc
Word Origin and History for mattock
Old English mættoc, probably from Vulgar Latin *matteuca "club," related to Latin mateola, a kind of mallet (see mace (n.1)), but this is not certain, and synonymous Russian motyka, Lithuanian matikkas suggest other possibilities. OED says similar words in Welsh and Gaelic are from English.