[truhn-chuh n]


the club carried by a police officer; billy.
a staff representing an office or authority; baton.
the shattered shaft of a spear.
Obsolete. cudgel; bludgeon.

verb (used with object)

Archaic. to beat with a club.


Nearby words

  1. truncal,
  2. truncate,
  3. truncated,
  4. truncately,
  5. truncation,
  6. trundle,
  7. trundle bed,
  8. trundler,
  9. trundletail,
  10. trunk

Origin of truncheon

1300–50; Middle English tronchon fragment < Middle French < Vulgar Latin *trunciōn-, stem of *trunciō literally, a lopping. See trunk, -ion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for truncheon

British Dictionary definitions for truncheon



mainly British a short thick club or cudgel carried by a policeman
a baton of officea marshal's truncheon
archaic a short club or cudgel
the shaft of a spear


(tr) to beat with a truncheon

Word Origin for truncheon

C16: from Old French tronchon stump, from Latin truncus trunk; see truncate

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 truncheon



c.1300, "shaft of a spear," also "short stick, cudgel," from Old North French tronchon, Old French tronchon (11c.) "a piece cut off, thick stick, stump," from Vulgar Latin *truncionem (nominative *truncio), from Latin truncus (see trunk). Meaning "staff as a symbol of office" is recorded from 1575; sense of "policeman's club" is recorded from 1880.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper