from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A slender spear or lance of hard wood, usually having an iron head: now most commonly applied to the throwing-spear or javelin used in battle by the natives of South Africa, especially the Zulus and Kafirs. Also spelled assegai.
  • To strike or kill with an assagai. Also spelled assegai.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A spear used by tribes in South Africa as a missile and for stabbing, a kind of light javelin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Alternative spelling of assegai.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the slender spear of the Bantu-speaking people of Africa


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • The OED favours this spelling over assegai, but I get the impression the latter is more widely used.

    June 15, 2008

  • (n): apparently a borrowing from Berber: Fr. azagaye from Arabic azzagai, from al + the Berber zaghayah; a South African tree of the dogwood family (I'll have to confirm this) from which a slender iron-tipped spear is made.

    January 18, 2009

  • gavagai.

    January 18, 2009