Definition of cutlass
1 : a short curving sword formerly used by sailors on warships
2 : machete
Recent Examples of cutlass from the Web
Cutlass in one hand, pistol in the other, Blackbeard engaged the lieutenant in a duel to the death.
Stabbed repeatedly with cutlasses and bayonets, ten officers, including the ship’s sadistic captain, Hugh Pigot, were thrown overboard.
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.
Origin and Etymology of cutlass
Middle French coutelas, augmentative of coutel knife, from Latin cultellus, diminutive of culter knife, plowshare
First Known Use: 1584See Words from the same year
CUTLASS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of cutlass for English Language Learners
: a short, heavy sword with a curved blade that was used by sailors and pirates in the past
CUTLASS Defined for Kids
Definition of cutlass for Students
: a short heavy curved sword
Seen and Heard
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