Definition of dirk in English:

dirk

noun

  • A short dagger of a kind formerly carried by Scottish Highlanders.

    • ‘There were over a dozen men in the inn yard by now, all watching the confrontation, and an entire town beyond them, and if only the loudmouth wore a sword, at least half the others carried dirks or daggers.’
    • ‘What the Greek kopus was to the sarissa and the Roman pugio was to the gladius, so too was the French gauche to the sabre, the Spanish daga to the espada, the Scottish dirk to the basket hilt, and the English dagger to the rapier.’
    • ‘Some clutched the hilts of their swords, others dirks or bows.’
    • ‘We'll fight, but only use our swords - no dirks, daggers or shields, just steel-on-steel.’
    • ‘At sea, cutlasses became common issue in the 18th century for most navies and officers were equipped with swords and dirks in much the same way as their military counterparts.’
    • ‘But he was also skilled at the bow, the short ax, the dirk, the scythe, the dagger, even the great battle axe.’
    • ‘More frighteningly, Tamora could see the hundreds more beyond the few battering the gate, and over a third of them were properly armed - swords, dirks, bows and arrows.’
    • ‘How did you get a dirk and a broadsword on an airplane?’
    • ‘It was a dirk, a dirk of much better make than his own or any he'd ever hope to own, and it shimmered red-gold in the woven sunlight.’
    • ‘Pulling the covers off revealed a no-nonsense rapier and a mid-length dirk.’
    • ‘It was the two pearl-handled pistols and the thigh-sheathed dirk that won most of her battles.’
    • ‘Witness the growth of knives from the dirk to shortsword to huge English broadsword.’
    • ‘I wondered if he carried a dirk and a pistol and if his hat was adorned with crocodile skin.’
    • ‘There are many wonderful things among the countless flint tools, dirks and firearms, but the quantity of material is daunting even for the most discerning.’
    • ‘I've also got some dirks, and my personal favorites, daggers.’
    • ‘Shields, longswords, shortswords, broadswords, greatswords, and any other kind of sword you could name; daggers, dirks, scimitars, pikes, bows, and weapons even whose names escaped her.’
    • ‘‘So, you just ‘forgot’ you had the family dirk and a five-hundred-year-old Scottish Broadsword?’’
    • ‘An assortment of rifles, pistols, dirks, daggers, and cudgels were quite literally dripping off their massive persons.’
    • ‘He wanted to run Marcs through with a blade, be it a scimitar, a sword, a dirk, a dagger, a knife, an axe or an arrow.’
    • ‘He sheared the barrel from a man's gun and drove his dirk into the man's stomach.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

dirk

/dəːk/