lance

1 of 2

noun

1
: a steel-tipped spear carried by mounted knights or light cavalry
2
: any of various sharp objects suggestive of a lance: such as
a
: lancet
b
: a spear used for killing whales or fish
3

lance

2 of 2

verb

lanced; lancing

transitive verb

1
a
: to pierce with or as if with a lance
b
: to open with or as if with a lancet
lance a boil
2
: to throw forward : hurl

intransitive verb

: to move forward quickly

Examples of lance in a Sentence

Noun the lance struck squarely on the knight's shield, knocking him from his horse Verb He had the boil on his arm lanced. doctors used to lance infected sores, so that they could drain clean
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The shooting spurts of goo, pus, and assorted bodily fluids are definitely not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach, but for those who enjoy watching an expert pop pimples, lance boils, and generally improve the quality of her patients' lives, Dr. Pimple Popper is sure to deliver. Briana Richert, James Mercadante, EW.com, 19 Feb. 2024 Caladiums are grown for their foliage, with leaves shaped like hearts, arrows, or lances in combinations of red, pink, rose, white, chartreuse, and green. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 15 June 2023 Yellow lance mussels used to be more abundant in streams around the Chesapeake Bay, but as the water quality in the area has declined, so has this bivalve’s numbers. Washington Post, 20 Aug. 2021 Matt Williams is a free lance writer based in Nacogdoches. Matt Williams, Dallas News, 7 Oct. 2022 Steve Brand is a free-lance writer. Steve Brand, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 June 2021 Other search engine competitors have sought to enter the battle arena wielding the lance of privacy, but haven’t threatened Google: DuckDuckGo, which shows ads but does not track users, commands a 1.4% share of the U.S. search market while Google handles 88%. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, 22 June 2020 In a March 1524 jousting match, the opponent rammed his lance into the king’s open visor and hit right above his eye. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 3 Aug. 2022 During the match, Henry was wounded in the eye by a flying fragment of splintered lance. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Jan. 2023
Verb
There are also venison and pig trotter pies, each lanced with an enormous marrow bone. Caitie Kelly Wei Tchou Julia Halperin Tom Delavan Lane Nieset Gage Daughdrill, New York Times, 2 Nov. 2023 In some ways, chiropractic was ripe for this type of treatment, just as dermatology was ripe for Dr. Pimple Popper to lance the field wide open for the disgust and pleasure of a massive audience. Lauren Larson, Men's Health, 25 July 2023 The typical first-line treatment is to lance the boil. Scott Sundick, Verywell Health, 25 June 2023 In this way, Washington could finally lance the boil of militant Islamism, which had afflicted America ever since the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. Max Boot, Foreign Affairs, 10 Mar. 2023 Plus, the cost of blood testing strips and lancing devices can really add up. Amy Stanford, Health, 20 Apr. 2023 Cajazeira had spirited the former president from his quarters aboard the government steamship that had picked them up at the camp of a rubber baron and operated immediately, lancing Roosevelt’s abscess and draining it. Larry Rohter, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Apr. 2023 Also, the lancets need to be the right design for your lancing device. Verywell Health, 28 Feb. 2023 Once it was settled on the ocean floor, the black, white, and Tonka-truck-yellow contraption began grinding its way forward, its lights lancing through the darkness, steel treads biting into the silt. WIRED, 28 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin lancea

Verb

Middle English launcen, from Anglo-French lancer, from Late Latin lanceare, from Latin lancea

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of lance was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near lance

Cite this Entry

“Lance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lance. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

lance

1 of 2 noun
1
: a weapon consisting of a long shaft with a sharp steel head that was used by knights on horseback
2
: a sharp instrument
especially : lancet

lance

2 of 2 verb
lanced; lancing
: to pierce or cut with a lance or lancet

Medical Definition

lance

1 of 2 noun
: lancet

lance

2 of 2 transitive verb
lanced; lancing
: to open with or as if with a lancet : make an incision in or into
lance a boil
lance a vein

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