[puhm-uhl, pom-]
a knob, as on the hilt of a sword.
the protuberant part at the front and top of a saddle. See illus. under saddle.
Architecture. a spherical ornament or finial.
Gymnastics. either of the two curved handles on the top surface of a side horse.
verb (used with object), pommeled, pommeling or (especially British) pommelled, pommelling.
to beat or strike with or as if with the fists or a pommel.
Also, pummel.

1300–50; (noun) Middle English pomel < Middle French, derivative of Old French pom hilt of a sword < Latin pōmum fruit; see pome, -elle

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pommel (ˈpʌməl, ˈpɒm-)
1.  the raised part on the front of a saddle
2.  a knob at the top of a sword or similar weapon
vb , -mels, -melling, -melled, -mels, -meling, -meled
3.  a less common word for pummel
[C14: from Old French pomel knob, from Vulgar Latin pōmellum (unattested) little apple, from Latin pōmum apple]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

early 14c., from O.Fr. pomel (12c.), "rounded knob," dim. of pom "hilt of a sword," from L.L. pomellum, dim. of L. pomum "apple," the connecting notion being "roundness." Sense of "front peak of a saddle" first recorded mid-15c. In M.E. poetry it also sometimes meant a woman's breast.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Connection points are not available in the parallel bars or pommel horse.
Athletes flipped, twisted and launched their way to gold on the pommel horse, vault and floor exercise.
But perhaps some folks are fatigued by the ceaseless rotation of triple-salchows and pommel horses.
It has a curved steel blade with ivory grips and a gold decoration chain leading from the hand guard to the pommel.
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