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

Definition of cutlass

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

Examples of cutlass in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The original had a leather-washer handle and a D-ring guard like a cutlass. David E. Petzal, Field & Stream, "The Best 25 Knives Ever Made," 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,, "‘Ink Master’ finale: 'Creepy Jason’ of Carroll County ends run as a runner-up," 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, "Iran shows growing fury in the Gulf. It really is desperate to talk," 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, "Microsoft might finally have a forward-thinking game with Sea of Thieves," 30 Jan. 2018 There’s a Pirate Gallery and a Western Room packed with mannequins baring cutlasses and six-guns. Vincent Crampton,, "Explore Florida's Hernando County: This roadside attraction is alive and kicking," 6 May 2018 Most households in the Guyana countryside still have a cutlass (or a machete). Longreads, "Kara Walker’s Subtlety," 28 Feb. 2018 His right arm is raised high with a cutlass (a machete). Longreads, "Kara Walker’s Subtlety," 28 Feb. 2018 Those in particularly dangerous areas carried cutlasses. Amanda Coletta, WSJ, "Why Britain’s ‘Bobbies’ Have Long Been Unarmed," 18 Sep. 2017

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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Cite this Entry

“Cutlass.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for cutlass


How to pronounce cutlass (audio)

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

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Nglish: Translation of cutlass for Spanish Speakers

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