[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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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
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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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