cut·​lass | \ ˈkət-ləs How to pronounce cutlass (audio) \

Definition of cutlass

1 : a short curving sword formerly used by sailors on warships
2 : machete

Examples of cutlass in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One, a nurse once driven from his home by Boko Haram, who lost everything but had found refuge in the estate, has started sleeping with a cutlass under his bed. New York Times, 23 Sep. 2021 Marse, where the picong sharp like cutlass and cutting politician down to size and making fun of everything that taking itself too serious. M Nourbese Philip, Harper's BAZAAR, 16 Feb. 2021 The original had a leather-washer handle and a D-ring guard like a cutlass. David E. Petzal, Field & Stream, 16 Feb. 2019 Creepy Jason’s full-back tattoo depicted a swashbuckling femme fatale, complete with cutlass and pistol, pirate hat, belts and, of course, an eyepatch. Catalina Righter,, 25 Sep. 2019 The waving of cutlasses in the narrow waters between Arabia and Iran was the moment when two different and competing approaches to Iran between Western allies crossed. Sam Kiley, CNN, 11 July 2019 All pirates start with a relatively beefy collection of items, including weapons (pistol, sniper rifle, cutlass), utilitarian items (compass, shovel, bucket), and goofy stuff (beer mug, pair of musical instruments). Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 30 Jan. 2018 There’s a Pirate Gallery and a Western Room packed with mannequins baring cutlasses and six-guns. Vincent Crampton,, 6 May 2018 Most households in the Guyana countryside still have a cutlass (or a machete). Longreads, 28 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cutlass.' 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 cutlass

1584, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cutlass

Middle French coutelas, augmentative of coutel knife, from Latin cultellus, diminutive of culter knife, plowshare

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Time Traveler for cutlass

Time Traveler

The first known use of cutlass was in 1584

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Dictionary Entries Near cutlass



cutlass fish

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Cite this Entry

“Cutlass.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for cutlass



English Language Learners Definition of cutlass

: a short, heavy sword with a curved blade that was used by sailors and pirates in the past


cut·​lass | \ ˈkət-ləs How to pronounce cutlass (audio) \

Kids Definition of cutlass

: a short heavy curved sword

More from Merriam-Webster on cutlass

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cutlass

Nglish: Translation of cutlass for Spanish Speakers


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