from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A digging tool with a flat blade set at right angles to the handle.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An agricultural tool whose blades are at right angles to the body, similar to a pickax.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An implement for digging and grubbing. The head has two long steel blades, one like an adz and the other like a narrow ax or the point of a pickax.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An instrument for loosening the soil in digging, shaped like a pickax, but having its ends broad instead of pointed.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a kind of pick that is used for digging; has a flat blade set at right angles to the handle
Middle English, from Old English mattuc, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *matteūca, club; akin to *mattea; see mace1.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English mattok ("mattock, pickaxe"), from Old English mattuc, meottoc, mettac ("mattock, fork, trident"), from Proto-Germanic *mattukaz (“mattock, ploughshare”), from Proto-Indo-European *matn-, *mat- (“a hoe, ploughshare”). Related to Old High German medela ("plough"), Middle High German metze, metz ("knife"), Latin mateola ("implement for digging in the soil"), Russian мотыга (motýga, "hoe, mattock"), Lithuanian (matikkas, "mattock"), Sanskrit मत्य (matyà, "harrow, roller, club"). More at mason. (Wiktionary)