Definition of bayonet in US English:



  • 1A blade that may be fixed to the muzzle of a rifle and used to stab an opponent in hand-to-hand fighting.

    • ‘Immediately after sunrise the Sergeant of the Guard collected the heavy bunch of gate keys from the Governor's house and, accompanied by troops with rifles and fixed bayonets, proceeded to open each gate in turn and lower its drawbridge.’
    • ‘I examined the assortment of small arms, grenades and bayonets used in hand-to-hand encounters.’
    • ‘At 5: 30 P.M. local time, truckloads of soldiers carrying rifles with fixed bayonets surrounded the county courthouse and City Hall.’
    • ‘Prussian military rifles first mounted sword bayonets in 1787 and the armies of most other countries followed suit over the following 30 or 40 years.’
    • ‘The loaded machine gun was reportedly discovered along with six bayonets and a sniper rifle in packages marked as computer equipment.’
    • ‘Other lethal weapons such as swords, bayonets, crossbows and knives have also been surrendered.’
    • ‘As I tried the feel of a used $129.95 Polish assault rifle with a handy bayonet, the seller beamed.’
    • ‘In the future, there will be smart bombs and bayonets.’
    • ‘The sentry called for help and was soon joined by eight soldiers who formed a semicircle and tried to keep the crowd at bay with their loaded muskets and fixed bayonets.’
    • ‘The collection included a semi-automatic Beretta pistol, blank-firing pistols, several air rifles, a flail and a large number of samurai-type swords, bayonets, knives, machetes and crossbows with bolts.’
    • ‘I remember being in the car with my father and seeing soldiers on the street with bayonets fixed on their rifles.’
    • ‘He was busy making Colts, bayonets, rifles, and pistols to send to Major General Hardee.’
    • ‘He removed his bayonet from his rifle, and was using it as a combat knife now, since a rifle would be too cumbersome.’
    • ‘Under heavy fire from artillery, aircraft, machine guns and rifles and with bayonets in hand and yelling wildly, they charged into history.’
    • ‘The eight riflemen, without ammunition but still supporting the machine gun, fixed bayonets and waited.’
    • ‘The list of available arms has been expanded with several additions plus the ability to affix bayonets to rifles.’
    • ‘A crossbow, rifles, swords and bayonets were some of the items collected at police stations across the region.’
    • ‘Bucher saw what looked like a boarding party, with helmets, vests and rifles with bayonets, transferring from one ship to another.’
    • ‘Finally, the Federals ran out of ammunition and turned to fighting hand-to-hand with bayonets, scrambling through the forest and the underbrush.’
    • ‘They include a crossbow, rifles, swords, bayonets, handguns and pistols, 340 rounds of ammunition and an Oriental-style throwing star.’
    blade, knife, sword, spear, lance, pike, javelin, shaft, harpoon
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  • 2as modifier Denoting a fitting for a light bulb, camera lens, or other appliance that is engaged by being pushed into a socket and then twisted to lock it in place.

    ‘a bayonet fitting’
    • ‘These feature a bayonet mount, for easy and rapid changing, as well as push/pull eyecups.’
    • ‘Conservation in 1992 revealed that the goblet in Plate V is made of separate pieces of ivory joined by ‘so called bayonet mounts.’’
    • ‘The eyepiece is quickly and easily affixed with a three point bayonet mount.’
    • ‘What also makes this Leica look-alike even more of a clone is the fact that Konica have made the Hexar RF to accept the special Leica-M bayonet mount lenses, as well as their own Konica lenses.’
    • ‘And if that isn't enough for you, there's also a bayonet style clip, which can be switched for right or left hand carry or even removed for pouch storage.’


[with object]
  • Stab (someone) with a bayonet.

    ‘stragglers were bayoneted where they fell’
    • ‘One could even say, as one bayonets an enemy soldier, ‘It's either you or me.’’
    • ‘He was bayoneted, however, just as he reached the German wire.’
    • ‘During the last of these attacks he leapt out and bayoneted two enemy soldiers.’
    • ‘You never close in - bayonet to bayonet, or otherwise - on a defeated enemy.’
    • ‘Sergeant Todd was outside the square roaring and bayoneting with a professionalism that, even here, amazed Charlie.’
    • ‘They said that they and others had bayoneted prisoners tied to stakes not out of blind fanaticism, but failing to do so would have meant a shame on their manhood, a criterion defined by the group.’
    • ‘The occupants who were not burnt alive were bayoneted as they tried to escape.’
    • ‘Bury the dead, bayonet the wounded and keep moving.’
    • ‘Those who could not keep up with the march because of physical weakness and those were tried to escape were beaten, shot or bayoneted.’
    • ‘Casualties amounted to 40,000, with both sides shooting and bayoneting the wounded.’
    • ‘One fled the country, another was tortured to death and a third was bayoneted in his bed.’
    • ‘Despite being wounded repeatedly, he pressed the attack, and after his .45 ammo was exhausted, he picked up a rifle and bayoneted several enemy.’
    • ‘He then bayoneted his way through infiltrated enemy soldiers to a second gun emplacement and assisted in its operation.’
    • ‘The weapon had not been thrown from any distance, it had been thrust in from below, possibly at a run, possibly not, but if not, the person holding it must have been either very strong or accustomed to bayoneting.’
    • ‘The sight of armed troops shooting and bayoneting the very citizens I was elected to serve and represent was spectacular.’
    • ‘In the fierce charge Capt. Millett bayoneted two enemy soldiers and boldly continued on, throwing grenades, clubbing and bayoneting the enemy, while urging his men forward by shouting encouragement.’
    • ‘One jittery grunt comes close to bayoneting a prisoner before being stopped by fellow Marines.’
    • ‘Many who fell ill were bayoneted, shot or beheaded by their captors.’
    • ‘The units manage fitness by frequent fitness testing, bayonet PT, combatives, and road march training.’
    • ‘Just as it is easier to drop a bomb on a battalion than to bayonet a soldier, it is easier to support a policy with many unseen victims over one with a few highly visible ones.’
    stab, pierce, spear, knife, gore, spike, stick, impale, run through, transfix, prick, puncture, gash, slash
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Late 17th century (denoting a kind of short dagger): from French baïonnette, from Bayonne, the name of a town in SW France, where they were first made.