Definition of truncheon in English:



  • 1A short, thick stick carried as a weapon by a police officer.

    • ‘Police in riot gear and carrying truncheons pushed them back, and several were arrested.’
    • ‘He was taken to a police station where he was beaten with truncheons, punched and kicked.’
    • ‘One driver was even found with a police truncheon in his car.’
    • ‘Mobile police units used water cannon and truncheons to counter the right-wing rioters, who threw stones and bottles.’
    • ‘Special units of the police attacked pickets and demonstrators with water cannon and truncheons.’
    • ‘Faced with escalating riots, the Italian police unleashed water cannon, plastic bullets and 12-inch truncheons.’
    • ‘There they confronted the police; a police truncheon injured one teacher.’
    • ‘In France in May 1968, the gendarmerie and the police used water cannon, tear gas and truncheons to put down three-week-long Sorbonne riots, injuring nearly 400 persons.’
    • ‘Over 80 police and soldiers used truncheons, tear gas and a water cannon on protestors, including women and children.’
    • ‘Armed with truncheons and tear gas, police repeatedly attacked the 200,000 demonstrators who had come from all over the world to protest the summit proceedings.’
    • ‘Although practice varied between regions, apart from a period between 1884 and 1936, British police were allowed little more than a truncheon on routine patrol.’
    • ‘According to the organisers of the meeting, police employed truncheons and pepper spray in the course of their intervention.’
    • ‘Ten policemen, waving truncheons a little too enthusiastically, have closed the road so that the dialogue can be recorded.’
    • ‘The demonstrators were attacked by the police, who employed tear gas and truncheons and beat and arrested a number of the protesters.’
    • ‘Rowan and Mayne limited constables' weapons to the truncheon, carried concealed until 1863.’
    • ‘The police used truncheons and tear gas, while paramilitary groups of religious fanatics attacked the protesters, including women, with metal chains.’
    • ‘Until 1857, New York City police found truncheons sufficient.’
    • ‘The deal was signed while hundreds of police armed with truncheons and riot equipment remained on standby outside the hotel.’
    • ‘Police used truncheons to beat them back, but no major injuries were reported.’
    • ‘They were beaten back by riot police with truncheons.’
    club, baton, cudgel, bludgeon
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A staff or baton acting as a symbol of authority, especially that used by the Earl Marshal.
      • ‘The truncheons behind the shield bearing the duke's Arms refer to his office as Earl Marshal.’
      • ‘The truncheon, or baton, is a military commander's sign of office.’


Middle English (denoting a piece broken off (especially from a spear), also a cudgel): from Old French tronchon ‘stump’, based on Latin truncus ‘trunk’.