[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.

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

Related Words for truncheon

baton, bat, stick, bludgeon

Examples from the Web for truncheon

Contemporary Examples of truncheon

Historical Examples of 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