mattock

[ mat-uh k ]
/ ˈmæt ək /
|

noun

an instrument for loosening the soil in digging, shaped like a pickax, but having one end broad instead of pointed.

Origin of mattock

before 900; Middle English mattok, Old English mattuc
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Examples from the Web for mattock

British Dictionary definitions for mattock

mattock

/ (ˈmætək) /

noun

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 for mattock

Old English mattuc, of unknown origin; related to Latin mateola club, mallet
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 mattock

mattock


n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper