hal·​berd | \ ˈhal-bərd How to pronounce halberd (audio) , ˈhȯl- How to pronounce halberd (audio) \
variants: or less commonly halbert \ ˈhal-​bərt How to pronounce halbert (audio) , ˈhȯl-​ \

Definition of halberd

: a weapon especially of the 15th and 16th centuries consisting typically of a battle-ax and pike mounted on a handle about six feet long

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

A weapon that consists of an ax blade and a sharp spike mounted on the end of a staff, usually about 5–6 ft (1.5–2 m) long, a halberd was an important weapon in middle Europe in the 15th and early 16th centuries. It enabled a foot soldier to contend with an armored man riding on horseback; the spiked head kept the rider at a distance, and the ax blade could strike a heavy cleaving blow. Firearms and the declining use of armor made the halberd obsolete.

Examples of halberd in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

For the uninitiated, a halberd is a medieval weapon that looks like a combination of a spear and an axe. cleveland.com, "'Archer' on FXX succeeds at action and comedy in season 8's best episode yet," 18 May 2017 Words like halberd and basilisk became part of my daily vocabulary. Ethan Gilsdorf, WIRED, "Lost Movie Found: We Played D&D in the 1980s," 2 Feb. 2012 Ten minutes later, the president’s motorcade was greeted by Swiss Guards who stood to attention with their halberds and ostrich-plumed helmets. Margaret Talev, Bloomberg.com, "Pope Lends Weight to G-7 Push to Bind Trump to Climate Deal," 24 May 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of halberd

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for halberd

Middle English, from Middle French hallebarde, from Middle High German helmbarte, from helm handle + barte ax

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about halberd

Dictionary Entries near halberd








Statistics for halberd

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for halberd

The first known use of halberd was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

More from Merriam-Webster on halberd

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about halberd

Comments on halberd

What made you want to look up halberd? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


suitable to be imparted to the public

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!