cudgel

noun
cud·​gel | \ ˈkə-jəl How to pronounce cudgel (audio) \

Definition of cudgel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a short heavy club The eighteenth-century audience went to the theatre armed with whistles, rattles, … and sometimes even wooden cudgels.— Ronald Hayman

cudgel

verb
cudgeled or cudgelled; cudgeling or cudgelling\ ˈkəj-​liŋ How to pronounce cudgelling (audio) , ˈkə-​jə-​ \

Definition of cudgel (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to beat with or as if with a cudgel
cudgel one's brains
: to think hard (as for a solution to a problem)

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Synonyms for cudgel

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of cudgel in a Sentence

Noun a farmer armed with a cudgel drove us off his land
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Perhaps Trump intuited the potential of corruption-as-cudgel, or perhaps his lawyer’s associates suggested it. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "The Corruption of the Word “Corruption”—and So Much Else—Amid the Impeachment Hearings," 16 Nov. 2019 And even though both sides agreed upon a deal in 2016 to stop migrants from traveling westward from Turkey to the European mainland, Erdogan is now wielding that like a cudgel. Raf Casert, San Diego Union-Tribune, "EU nations commit to arms export ban against Turkey," 14 Oct. 2019 The difference now is that Mr. Trump is threatening to use IEEPA, which is typically used for sanctions, as a cudgel in his administration's trade war with China. Rachel Layne, CBS News, "Can Trump force U.S. companies out of China?," 26 Aug. 2019 Within hours of its splashy Libra announcement last month, Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans had become a political cudgel. Gregory Barber, WIRED, "The Fed Chair Says Facebook's Libra Raises 'Serious Concerns'," 10 July 2019 There has also been a sea change regarding Democrats’ willingness to use market exclusivity and intellectual property as a cudgel with which to drive down prices. Lev Facher, STAT, "More than ever, Democratic presidential hopefuls want to take on pharma. Here’s how they’d do it," 11 Nov. 2019 The move was widely read as a gambit by Markey to capitalize on his profile as a leading warrior in the fight against global warming, and giving Markey a cudgel, stamped with his signature issue, to hold over Kennedy’s head. BostonGlobe.com, "Kennedy’s campaign said the climate debate should take place “on the ground” in a Massachusetts community already experiencing the harsh effects of unaddressed climate change.," 5 Oct. 2019 When an army patrol showed up to stop the looting, the townspeople turned on the soldiers, tossing stones at them and swinging cudgels. Mark Stevenson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Hugs or bullets? Mexico conflicted over how to fight crime," 2 Oct. 2019 When an army patrol showed up to stop the looting, the townspeople turned on the soldiers, tossing stones at them and swinging cudgels. Washington Post, "Hugs or bullets? Mexico conflicted over how to fight crime," 2 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Yet doing away with the government’s critic-cudgelling arsenal should be a much higher priority. The Economist, "Malaysia’s government should scrap repressive laws while it still can," 20 July 2019 In the winter of 1775-76, Dunbar didn’t stand a chance against the 40 patriots in Farmington, Conn., who cudgeled him nearly to death near his home. Caitlin Fitz, WSJ, "Lives Lost for Their Countries," 11 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cudgel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cudgel

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1596, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cudgel

Noun and Verb

Middle English kuggel, from Old English cycgel; perhaps akin to Middle High German kugele ball

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Time Traveler for cudgel

Time Traveler

The first known use of cudgel was before the 12th century

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Statistics for cudgel

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Cudgel.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cudgelled. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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More Definitions for cudgel

cudgel

noun
How to pronounce cudgel (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cudgel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a short heavy club

cudgel

verb

English Language Learners Definition of cudgel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to hit (someone or something) with a club

cudgel

noun
cud·​gel | \ ˈkə-jəl How to pronounce cudgel (audio) \

Kids Definition of cudgel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a short heavy club

cudgel

verb
cudgeled or cudgelled; cudgeling or cudgelling

Kids Definition of cudgel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to beat with or as if with a short heavy club

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More from Merriam-Webster on cudgel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cudgel

Spanish Central: Translation of cudgel

Nglish: Translation of cudgel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cudgel for Arabic Speakers

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