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Ancient and medieval infantry weapon consisting of a long, metal-pointed spear with a heavy wooden shaft 10–20 ft (3–6 m) in length. Its use by Swiss foot soldiers in the 14th century contributed to the decline of the feudal knights. A variation is used by the picador in bullfighting.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on pike, visit Britannica.com.