from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A large heavy knife with a broad blade, used as a weapon and an implement for cutting vegetation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sword-like tool used for cutting large plants with a chopping motion. A machete's blade is usually 50 to 65 centimeters (cm) long, and up to three millimeters (mm) thick.
  • v. To cut or chop with a machete.
  • v. To hack or chop crudely with a blade other than a machete.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A large heavy knife resembling a broadsword, often two or three feet in length, -- used by the inhabitants of Spanish America as a hatchet to cut their way through thickets, and for various other purposes.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A heavy knife or cutlass used among Spanish colonists and in Spanish-American countries, both as a tool and as a weapon.
  • n. A fish of the family Congrogadidœ, the Congrogadus (or Machœrium) subducens.
  • n. Formerly also matchet, matchette.

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

  • n. a large heavy knife used in Central and South America as a weapon or for cutting vegetation


Spanish, diminutive of macho, sledge hammer, alteration of mazo, club, probably from maza, mallet, from Vulgar Latin *mattea, mace; see mace1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Spanish machete, diminutive of macho ("sledgehammer"), from Latin mattea, cognate with Old French machier, French massue, English mace. (Wiktionary)



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