sickle

1 of 3

noun

sick·​le ˈsi-kəl How to pronounce sickle (audio)
1
: an agricultural implement consisting of a curved metal blade with a short handle fitted on a tang
2
: the cutting mechanism (as of a reaper, combine, or mower) consisting of a bar with a series of cutting elements

Illustration of sickle

Illustration of sickle
  • sickle 1

sickle

2 of 3

adjective

: having the form of a sickle blade : having a curve similar to that of a sickle blade
the sickle moon

sickle

3 of 3

verb

sickled; sickling ˈsi-k(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce sickle (audio)

transitive verb

1
: to mow or reap with a sickle
2
: to change (a red blood cell) into a sickle cell

intransitive verb

: to change into a sickle cell
the ability of red blood cells to sickle

Examples of sickle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Abnormal hemoglobin alters the shape of red blood cells, turning them from discs to sickles. Emily Mullin, WIRED, 19 Dec. 2023 Padlocks, sickles and other objects made of iron, a metal said to possess anti-demonic powers, were stashed in the grave as preventives. Franz Lidz, New York Times, 5 Sep. 2023 Popular weeding tools include claw weeders, sickles, hoes, rakes, and digging forks. Andrea Wurzburger, Better Homes & Gardens, 1 Sep. 2023 On shelves were jugs of oil and vinegar, slabs of pecorino, a bag of nails, a small hand sickle, and a pot of honey. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, 18 July 2023 While there have been reports of people placing scythes or sickles near a grave as an offering to prevent demons from entering the body, the placement of this sickle was different. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 6 Sep. 2022 Kasparov refused to compete under the Soviet flag — the hammer and sickle. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 22 June 2023 Cala Saladeta, Ibiza, Spain On the west coast of the White Isle lies Cala Salada, a little cove backed by thick shrubbery, with a sickle of sand and rock slabs cantilevered over the water to moor boats against or sunbathe on. Julia Buckley, Travel + Leisure, 12 Apr. 2023 And last year, archaeologists uncovered an unusual example of people using these tips in a 17th-century Polish cemetery near Bydgoszcz: a female skeleton buried with a sickle placed across her neck, as well as a padlock on the big toe of her left foot. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 17 Mar. 2023
Adjective
The announcement is a landmark in the treatment of sickle cell disease, a devastating condition in which red blood cells deform into a sickle shape and clog up blood vessels. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 8 Dec. 2023 Those misshapen hemoglobin proteins stick together in people with sickle cell, distorting the shape of red blood cells from a round shape to a sickle one that cannot flow through our blood vessels as easily. Janice Blanchard, Scientific American, 18 Dec. 2023 In other words, sickle probes (those pointy metal things used to, yep, probe your mouth for cavities) and syringes shouldn’t just be lying out on the counter or metal tray. Jenna Ryu, SELF, 19 Sep. 2023 The illness causes the body’s red blood cells, usually disk-shaped, to take on a crescent or sickle shape. Berkeley Lovelace Jr., NBC News, 31 Oct. 2023 Thousands of rural Nepalis joined their ranks, vowing to kill millions and hoist the hammer and sickle atop Chomolungma. Sean Williams, Harper's Magazine, 11 Sep. 2023 The faulty gene causes blood cells to become misshapen into a characteristic crescent or sickle shape that can slow or halt blood flow, damaging tissues and leaving patients in extreme pain. Angelica Peebles, BostonGlobe.com, 29 Mar. 2023 In India, which has the second-highest rate of sickle-cell prevalence in the world, hydroxyurea is often difficult to access, said Gautam Dongre, secretary of India’s first national sickle cell patient advocacy group, whose two children suffer from the disease. Megan Molteni, STAT, 7 Mar. 2023 In the trailer, Law sports a long, frizzy gray wig and a furry mustache while wielding the villain’s signature sickle. Los Angeles Times, 2 Mar. 2023
Verb
In 1948, pediatrician Janet Watson noticed that children with sickle cell disease had normal blood cells as infants, but that the cells became sickled around six months. Emily Mullin, WIRED, 19 Dec. 2023 Exertional sickling deaths occur in athletes carrying the sickle cell trait. Jennifer Borresen, courier-journal.com, 18 Apr. 2023 The result is hemoglobin S—a misshapen version that causes red blood cells to sickle. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, 22 Mar. 2022 Blood cells filled with fetal hemoglobin do not sickle. New York Times, 11 Jan. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sickle.' 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 sikel, from Old English sicol, from Latin secula sickle, from secare to cut — more at saw

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1688, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1922, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sickle was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near sickle

Cite this Entry

“Sickle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sickle. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

sickle

1 of 2 noun
sick·​le ˈsik-əl How to pronounce sickle (audio)
: a tool with a sharp curved metal blade and a short handle used to cut grass

sickle

2 of 2 verb
sickled; sickling
ˈsik-(ə-)liŋ
: to change into a sickle cell
the ability of red blood cells to sickle

Medical Definition

sickle

1 of 3 noun
sick·​le ˈsik-əl How to pronounce sickle (audio)
: a dental scaler with a curved 3-sided point

sickle

2 of 3 adjective
: of, relating to, or characteristic of sickle cell anemia or sickle-cell trait
sickle hemoglobin

sickle

3 of 3 verb
sickled; sickling ˈsik-(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce sickle (audio)

transitive verb

: to change (a red blood cell) into a sickle cell

intransitive verb

: to undergo change into a sickle cell
the ability of red blood cells to sickle

More from Merriam-Webster on sickle

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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