[ kwawr-ter-staf, -stahf ]
See synonyms for quarterstaff on Thesaurus.com
noun,plural quar·ter·staves [kwawr-ter-steyvz], /ˈkwɔr tərˌsteɪvz/, quar·ter·staffs.
  1. a former English weapon consisting of a stout pole 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 meters) long, tipped with iron.

  2. exercise or fighting with this weapon.

Origin of quarterstaff

First recorded in 1540–50; quarter + staff1

Words Nearby quarterstaff

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use quarterstaff in a sentence

  • Thou art a deft hand at quarterstaff and singlestick, though, and I doubt not that thy hands can guard thy head.

    The Cornet of Horse | G. A. Henty
  • So saying, he raised his quarterstaff above his head in a threatening way.

  • I can wield a quarterstaff as well as a prize-fighter, and have beaten Figg himself at the broadsword.

    Jack Sheppard, Vol. II (of III) | W. Harrison Ainsworth
  • Why finger a distaff, when a quarterstaff comes more aptly to your hand?'

    A Book of Scoundrels | Charles Whibley
  • Sometimes there were wrestling matches, and combat with sword and quarterstaff.

    Cheshire | Charles E. Kelsey

British Dictionary definitions for quarterstaff


/ (ˈkwɔːtəˌstɑːf) /

nounplural -staves (-ˌsteɪvz, -ˌstɑːvz)
  1. a stout iron-tipped wooden staff about 6ft long, formerly used in England as a weapon

  2. the use of such a staff in fighting, sport, or exercise

Origin of quarterstaff

C16: of uncertain origin

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