trun·​cheon | \ ˈtrən-chən How to pronounce truncheon (audio) \

Definition of truncheon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a police officer's billy club
c obsolete : club, bludgeon
2 : a shattered spear or lance


truncheoned; truncheoning; truncheons

Definition of truncheon (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to beat with a truncheon

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Synonyms for truncheon

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of truncheon in a Sentence

Noun police officers were forced to use their truncheons on the rioters
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Seconds later, a state trooper brought a truncheon down on Lewis, fracturing his skull. David Remnick, The New Yorker, "The Ongoing Struggle of John Lewis," 30 Dec. 2019 Each week this past month, videos filtered out on social media of Russian police battering unarmed and peaceful demonstrators with truncheons — no matter the scenes being ignored on Russian state television. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "The protesters of Hong Kong and Moscow aren’t backing down," 12 Aug. 2019 There were pitched battles against the forces de l’ordre that ended with the demonstrators bloodied and driven back under a wave of truncheons. Christopher Ketcham, Harper's magazine, "A Play with No End," 22 July 2019 At a mass rally on July 27, police took almost 1,400 people into custody and violently clashed with the thousands of protesters, beating some with truncheons. Los Angeles Times, "Russian political crisis grows with more arrests in Moscow," 3 Aug. 2019 Russian police beat some protesters to the ground with wide truncheon swings while others tried to push the police away. Jim Heintz,, "Russian police crack down violently on Moscow protesters, arresting nearly 1,400 people," 28 July 2019 Some donned goggles to guard against pepper spray and helmets to protect from truncheons. The Economist, "Hong Kong protesters storm the legislative council," 30 June 2019 The black truncheon attached to their ears became hitched to its associated discourtesy. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Apple's Airpods Are an Omen," 12 June 2018 In 2008, rallies against Mr. Sargsyan’s first electoral victory as president turned violent, with army and police units beating protesters camped out in a main square with truncheons and electric-shock devices, killing 10 people. Thomas Grove, WSJ, "Armenian Mass Protests Paralyze the Capital, Pressuring Ally Russia," 2 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of truncheon


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


circa 1598, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for truncheon


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

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Time Traveler for truncheon

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

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Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Truncheon.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with truncheon

Comments on truncheon

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


to insert between existing elements

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