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trun·​cheon ˈtrən-chən How to pronounce truncheon (audio)
: a police officer's billy club
obsolete : club, bludgeon
: a shattered spear or lance


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truncheoned; truncheoning; truncheons

transitive verb

: to beat with a truncheon

Examples of truncheon in a Sentence

Noun police officers kept their hands on their truncheons
Recent Examples on the Web
If the Second Amendment is not limited to firearms, Monday’s ruling also calls into question state-level bans on weapons like truncheons, saps, billy clubs, nunchucks, and the like. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 9 Aug. 2023 Two officers carrying truncheons run after a protester, who appears to fall, his glasses caught by the camera in midair. Alejandro Chacoff, The New Yorker, 14 Mar. 2023 The truncheon vibrates with each gunshot. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 28 Apr. 2021 The video images obtained by the Associated Press, both from a security camera inside the studio and filmed by neighbors outside, show three officers following Zecler inside his music studio, where they can be seen repeatedly punching him and beating him with a truncheon. NBC News, 26 Nov. 2020 Across the country, Indigenous communities and their allies were blocking roads and facing down the tear gas canisters and truncheon blows of army and police units. Alexander Zaitchik, The New Republic, 24 Oct. 2022 The baton that Reagan passed to a new generation became a truncheon in Gingrich’s hands. Christopher Buckley, Washington Post, 5 Aug. 2022 Not far from where those spokesmen congregate is another image, that of thousands of Afghans running a chaotic gantlet of dangers, including truncheon-wielding Taliban fighters, to make their way to the airport and escape the country. Los Angeles Times, 22 Aug. 2021 Visitors are asked to pick up a truncheon (a thick stick carried as a weapon by police officers) to learn what happened next. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 28 Apr. 2021 See More

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

Word History



Middle English tronchoun, from Anglo-French trunchun, from Vulgar Latin *truncion-, *truncio, from Latin truncus trunk

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


circa 1598, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near truncheon

Cite this Entry

“Truncheon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a police officer's club
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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