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[bey-uh-nit, -net, bey-uh-net] /ˈbeɪ ə nɪt, -ˌnɛt, ˌbeɪ əˈnɛt/
a daggerlike steel weapon that is attached to or at the muzzle of a gun and used for stabbing or slashing in hand-to-hand combat.
a pin projecting from the side of an object, as the base of a flashbulb or camera lens, for securing the object in a bayonet socket.
verb (used with object), bayoneted or bayonetted, bayoneting or bayonetting.
to kill or wound with a bayonet.
1605-15; < French baïonnette, after Bayonne in France (where the weapon was first made or used); see -ette Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bayonets
  • In a better world, that sit-in would have resulted in some kind of discussion instead of bayonets.
  • His victories are by demonstration of superiority, and not by crossing of bayonets.
  • Another tightrope walker sails down on a bed of bayonets.
  • Stiff upper lips are quite as bristling as those gleaming bayonets.
  • Confronted by bayonets, the crowd pushed back on the lawn.
  • As people tried to flee, some were killed by soldiers wielding bayonets.
  • Troops with bayonets were deployed along roads leading to the city's main monasteries, which have been sealed off by police.
  • The soldiers marched toward them, bayonets pointing.
  • There was also some fierce hand to hand fighting where bayonets and muskets used as clubs were utilized as the primary weapons.
  • Closer observation revealed the glitter of bayonets and musket barrels.
British Dictionary definitions for bayonets


a blade that can be attached to the muzzle of a rifle for stabbing in close combat
a type of fastening in which a cylindrical member is inserted into a socket against spring pressure and turned so that pins on its side engage in slots in the socket
verb -nets, -neting, -neted, -nets, -netting, -netted
(transitive) to stab or kill with a bayonet
Word Origin
C17: from French baïonnette, from Bayonne where it originated
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bayonets



1610s, originally a type of dagger; as a steel stabbing weapon fitted to the muzzle of a firearm, from 1670s, from French baionnette (16c.), said to be from Bayonne, city in Gascony where supposedly they first were made; or perhaps it is a diminutive of Old French bayon "crossbow bolt." The city name is from Late Latin baia "bay" + Basque on "good." As a verb from c.1700.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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