lance

noun
\ ˈlan(t)s \

Definition of lance 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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

lance

verb
lanced; lancing

Definition of lance (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Jason has also designed work for the Louisville Slugger Museum, the Louisville Ballet and St. James Court Art Show Risa Yussman (2003): Is a free-lance graphic designer who hails from Syracuse, New York. For Kdf, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky Derby Festival Poster Series," 6 Feb. 2018 The only obvious evidence so far—and even here not all archaeologists agree—are wooden spears or lances known from three sites only. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists armed with spears demonstrate how Neanderthals hunted," 28 June 2018 While clearly emblematic of military courage, the lances serve another purpose: guests who wish to leave their mark on the memorial are invited to tie prayer cloths to them. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "This Innovative Memorial Will Soon Honor Native American Veterans," 11 May 2018 But weapons were limited at the site, with only some arrowheads, a lance-head and some sword fittings recovered. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Skeletons tell story of 'truly horrifying' fifth-century massacre," 1 May 2018 Nancy worked for the phone company and was an avid free-lance photographer. Hartford Courant, courant.com, "Nancy Salvadori," 13 July 2018 Conoco is not looking to sell its U.K. North Sea assets, Chief Executive Officer Ryan lance said at the company's annual general meeting this week. Author: Kelly Gilblom, Dinesh Nair, Anchorage Daily News, "BP said to be in talks to take Conoco’s UK field in swap deal for some Alaska assets," 17 May 2018 There also will be a scourging pillar, a Roman lance, and a life-size corpus on the cross that portrays a dramatic scene, as well as various other items of that time. Joanne Berger Dumound/special To Cleveland.com., cleveland.com, "Local lecturer brings world class Shroud of Turin exhibit to Greater Cleveland," 19 Feb. 2018 The decisive conflict between the countries is said to have occurred in 1593, when Naresuan reportedly challenged the Burmese Crown Prince Mingyi Swa to a duel on elephant-back and defeated his opponent by stabbing him with a lance. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Thailand Drops Charges Against Historian Who Questioned the Facts Around Historic 16th-Century Duel," 19 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

India’s problems of corruption and cronyism would be impossible to fix without first lancing the boil of . . Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, "‘The Billionaire Raj’ Review: Gatsby on the Ganges," 4 July 2018 But the second captured the moment: The streak of the missile, drawn out in the long exposure, lanced up into the night, another one further behind it. Washington Post, "Before dawn, the streak of a missile across Damascus’ sky," 15 Apr. 2018 Boils that must be lanced, or at least scabs that itch to be picked. John Herrman, New York Times, "How Tiny Red Dots Took Over Your Life," 27 Feb. 2018 One of the things the theater should be doing today, and rarely does, is lancing the boil of our own self-deception. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: Skewering White Pieties About Diversity in ‘Admissions’," 12 Mar. 2018 His goal of lancing the boil of the Catalan separatist movement through these elections has backfired. Tim Lister, CNN, "Catalan Crisis: No mood for compromise after close vote," 22 Dec. 2017 Sunbeams had lanced the darkness, and the flying foxes were returning to the tree to roost. Chiara Goia, Smithsonian, "The Biggest Tree Canopy on the Planet Stretches Across Nearly Five Acres," 29 Apr. 2017 Northern willowherb (Epilobium ciliatum) is an upright perennial weed with oval- to lance-shaped leaves. Kym Pokorny, OregonLive.com, "Know your weeds or risk hurting your garden," 1 July 2017 In this marshmallow masterpiece, Moby bursts through the waves in his mini-marshmallow glory, lanced with toothpicks hand-dyed in walnut stain. Bob Shaw, Twin Cities, "2017 Pioneer Press Peeps Contest winners," 18 Apr. 2017

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

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

History and Etymology for lance

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin lancea

Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lance

Statistics for lance

Last Updated

31 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lance

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lance

lance

noun

English Language Learners Definition of lance

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a long, pointed weapon used in the past by knights riding on horses

lance

verb

English Language Learners Definition of lance (Entry 2 of 2)

medical : to cut (an infected area on a person's skin) with a sharp tool so that pus will flow out

lance

noun
\ ˈlans \

Kids Definition of lance

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a weapon with a long handle and a sharp steel head used by knights on horseback

lance

verb
lanced; lancing

Kids Definition of lance (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cut open with a small sharp instrument The doctor lanced the boil.

lance

noun
\ ˈlan(t)s \

Medical Definition of lance 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: lancet

lanced; lancing

Medical Definition of lance (Entry 2 of 2)

: to open with or as if with a lancet : make an incision in or into lance a boil lance a vein

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on lance

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the setting in which something occurs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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