- a former English weapon consisting of a stout pole 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 meters) long, tipped with iron.
- exercise or fighting with this weapon.
Origin of quarterstaff
Related Words for quarterstaffbusiness, staff, sap, cudgel, works, bludgeon, baton, mace, blackjack, truncheon, hammer, nightstick, quarterstaff, hickory, mallet, shillelagh, billy, swatter, rosewood, cosh
Examples from the Web for quarterstaff
Historical Examples of quarterstaff
Sometimes there were wrestling matches, and combat with sword and quarterstaff.Cheshire
Charles E. Kelsey
In his right hand he carried a quarterstaff, which he used as a walking-stick.The Last of the Vikings
So I examined billhook and quarterstaff, and at last said I knew them.
He was dead, for the end of the quarterstaff had driven in his forehead, so madly had I struck at him with all my weight.
And next, I saw my quarterstaff still resting against the tree where I had left it.
- a stout iron-tipped wooden staff about 6ft long, formerly used in England as a weapon
- the use of such a staff in fighting, sport, or exercise
Word Origin for quarterstaff
Word Origin and History for quarterstaff
also quarter-staff, 1540s (quarter-stroke "stroke with a quarterstaff" is attested from early 15c.), stout pole, six to eight feet long (six-and-a-half sometimes is given as the standard length), tipped with iron, formerly a weapon used by the English peasantry. From staff (n.). The quarter likely is in reference to its operation.
It was grasped by one hand in the middle, and by the other between the middle and the end. In the attack the latter hand shifted from one quarter of the staff to the other, giving the weapon a rapid circular motion, which brought the ends on the adversary at unexpected points. [Century Dictionary]