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[puhm-uh l, pom-] /ˈpʌm əl, ˈpɒm-/
a knob, as on the hilt of a sword.
the protuberant part at the front and top of a 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.
Origin of pommel
1300-50; (noun) Middle English pomel < Middle French, derivative of Old French pom hilt of a sword < Latin pōmum fruit; see pome, -elle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for pommel
Historical Examples
  • Tossing her upon the pommel of the saddle, he springs into it.

    The Death Shot Mayne Reid
  • Maqueda answered, striking the pommel of her saddle with her small hand.

    Queen Sheba's Ring H. Rider Haggard
  • The pommel was a ball of crystal large as a man's fist, that held within it a spark of intense brilliance.

    Black Amazon of Mars Leigh Brackett
  • She folded it neatly and explained how it might be tied to the pommel of the saddle.

  • Grasping the pommel, she looked miserably at the long neck swaying in front of her.

    The 1926 Tatler Various
  • No maker's name, but the date 1638 is stamped upon the pommel.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Leaving hold of Don Silvio, fells Rodriguez with the pommel of his sword.

    Tales of the Wonder Club, Volume III M. Y. Halidom (pseud. Dryasdust)
  • He threw a leg over the pommel of his saddle and the three men halted in a group.

    Dr. Sevier George W. Cable
  • When every serving-man, from the base to the best, carried a buckler at his back, which hung by the hilt or pommel of his sword.

  • De Spain raised his right hand from his thigh to the pommel of his saddle.

    Nan of Music Mountain Frank H. Spearman
British Dictionary definitions for pommel


/ˈpʌməl; ˈpɒm-/
the raised part on the front of a saddle
a knob at the top of a sword or similar weapon
verb -mels, -melling, -melled (US) -mels, -meling, -meled
a less common word for pummel
Word Origin
C14: from Old French pomel knob, from Vulgar Latin pōmellum (unattested) little apple, from Latin pōmum apple
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 pommel

mid-13c., "ornamental knob;" c.1300, "knob at the end of a sword hilt," from Old French pomel (12c., Modern French pommeau), "rounded knob," diminutive of pom "hilt of a sword," from Late Latin pomellum, diminutive of Latin pomum "apple" (see Pomona), the connecting notion being "roundness." Sense of "front peak of a saddle" first recorded mid-15c. In Middle English poetry it also sometimes meant a woman's breast. The gymnast's pommel horse is attested from 1908.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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