Definitions

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

  • n. A curved Asian sword with the edge on the convex side.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sword of Persian origin that features a curved blade.
  • n. A long-handled billhook.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See simitar.

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

  • n. a curved oriental saber; the edge is on the convex side of the blade

Etymologies

French cimeterre and Italian scimitarra, both perhaps ultimately from Persian šamšīr, šimšīr, from Middle Persian šafšēr, šifšēr.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
The word scimitar, known in English since 1548, derived from Medieval French cimeterre (15c.) or directly from Italian scimitarra, of unknown origin. Ottoman Turkish would be the expected source, but no such word has been found there. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Initially interpreted as a representation of a cave lion, it was reinterpreted by Vratislav Mazak (1970) as more likely being a depiction of the sabre-tooth Homotherium latidens (a species sometimes dubbed the scimitar cat).

    Archive 2006-03-01

  • This cavalier with his scimitar was my uncle, who was then in command of the province.

    French and Oriental Love in a Harem

  • The sheathed scimitar, which is attached to a cloth belt and normally worn discreetly under clothes, is one of five "articles of faith" that baptised Sikhs must be carried at all times.

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  • It is plainly this that is meant, when persons disinclined to speak out give us a circumlocution of delicate phrases, "the conservative energies of the public institutions," "the majesty of the law," perhaps, and others of similar cast; -- which fine phrases suggest to one's imagination the ornamented fashion of the handle and sheath of the scimitar, which is not the less keen, nor the less ready to be drawn, for all this finery that hides and garnishes so menacing a symbol of power.

    An Essay on the Evils of Popular Ignorance

  • It had a kind of scimitar-shaped blade I had used when at work on rigging.

    Down South or, Yacht Adventure in Florida

  • The only stand any of them made was on our right, where three of them stood, and, by signs, called the rest to come back to them, having a kind of scimitar in their hands, and their bows hanging to their backs.

    The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe

  • "My morning draught is the cleaving of heads and breasts; my scimitar is my cup — no cup of

    Antar :

  • In walks Richard Dawkins bearing the staff of angry atheism, Immanuel Kant brandishing the cudgel of the categorical imperative, Pat Roberston wielding the halberd of Haitian hate, and DJ Grothe with the scimitar of secular humanism.

    An Interview with Venger Satanis : The Lovecraft News Network

  • The Eastern Harbor of Alexandria curves like a scimitar at edge of the Nile Delta.

    Richard Bangs: Quest for the Lord of the Nile

  • The chief of the guards, a man almost as wide as he was tall, wearing well-used armor, put a hand on his scimitar and growled, Halt!

    Archive 2009-12-01

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