[ puhm-uh l, pom- ]
/ ˈpʌm əl, ˈpɒm- /


a knob, as on the hilt of a sword.
the protuberant part at the front and top of a saddle.
Architecture. a spherical ornament or finial.
Gymnastics. either of the two curved handles on the top surface of a side horse.

verb (used with object), pom·meled, pom·mel·ing or (especially British) pom·melled, pom·mel·ling.

to beat or strike with or as if with the fists or a pommel.

Nearby words

  1. pomfret,
  2. pomiculture,
  3. pomiferous,
  4. pommard,
  5. pomme blanche,
  6. pommel horse,
  7. pommelo,
  8. pommern,
  9. pommes frites,
  10. pommy

Also pummel.

Origin of pommel

1300–50; (noun) Middle English pomel < Middle French, derivative of Old French pom hilt of a sword < Latin pōmum fruit; see pome, -elle

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pommel

British Dictionary definitions for pommel


/ (ˈpʌməl, ˈpɒm-) /


the raised part on the front of a saddle
a knob at the top of a sword or similar weapon

verb -mels, -melling or -melled or US -mels, -meling or -meled

a less common word for pummel

Word Origin for pommel

C14: from Old French pomel knob, from Vulgar Latin pōmellum (unattested) little apple, from Latin pōmum apple

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 pommel



mid-13c., "ornamental knob;" c.1300, "knob at the end of a sword hilt," from Old French pomel (12c., Modern French pommeau), "rounded knob," diminutive of pom "hilt of a sword," from Late Latin pomellum, diminutive of Latin pomum "apple" (see Pomona), the connecting notion being "roundness." Sense of "front peak of a saddle" first recorded mid-15c. In Middle English poetry it also sometimes meant a woman's breast. The gymnast's pommel horse is attested from 1908.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper