One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A combined spear and battle-ax.
poleaxe, axe, pike, tomahawk, war mattock, maceView synonyms
- ‘Hence the modern guardsmen carry tear gas and pepper spray in addition to their halberds, the combination of spear and battle-ax that the guardsmen carry.’
- ‘I walked along the wall and saw maces, morning stars, halberds, spears, and some daggers on the end.’
- ‘Drake had his Katana, Judas his halberd, John a rapier and dagger, and Conrad wielded his two long swords expertly.’
- ‘As a complete system it has weapons including sword, sabre, spear and halberd.’
- ‘In the section on Chinese weapons, clear and colorful illustrations of a halberd, trident and crossbow support the text.’
- ‘Add the spears, halberds, two-handed swords and crossbows used by the soldiers and you have quite a collection of deadly weapons.’
- ‘The spear and the halberd are weapons which are carried out of doors.’
- ‘Vast quantities of clothing, gunpowder, pikes, halberds, swords, and muskets poured out of the workshops of the metropolis.’
- ‘Cloud armed himself with his own longbow and latched his halberd onto his halberd scabbard on his back.’
- ‘With a great cry, a whole host of horsemen rode forth from the inner courtyard, brandishing swords, pikes and halberds alike.’
Late 15th century: from French hallebarde, from Italian alabarda, from Middle High German helmbarde (from helm ‘handle’ + barde ‘hatchet’).
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