[puhm-uh l, pom-]
See more synonyms for pommel on Thesaurus.com
  1. a knob, as on the hilt of a sword.
  2. the protuberant part at the front and top of a saddle.
  3. Architecture. a spherical ornament or finial.
  4. 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.
  1. to beat or strike with or as if with the fists or a pommel.
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. 2018

Related Words for pommel

knob, pound, handle, pummel, club, cudgel, maul, belabor, strike, thwack, saddlebow, finial

Examples from the Web for pommel

Historical Examples of pommel

  • No maker's name, but the date 1638 is stamped upon the pommel.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • He threw a leg over the pommel of his saddle and the three men halted in a group.

    Dr. Sevier

    George W. Cable

  • De Spain raised his right hand from his thigh to the pommel of his saddle.

    Nan of Music Mountain

    Frank H. Spearman

  • He had clenched his teeth and clung to the pommel desperately.

    Oh, You Tex!

    William Macleod Raine

  • She turned and put her hand on the pommel, and sprang into the saddle.

    The Mermaid

    Lily Dougall

British Dictionary definitions for pommel


  1. the raised part on the front of a saddle
  2. a knob at the top of a sword or similar weapon
verb -mels, -melling or -melled or US -mels, -meling or -meled
  1. 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