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scythe

[sahyth] /saɪð/
noun
1.
an agricultural implement consisting of a long, curving blade fastened at an angle to a handle, for cutting grass, grain, etc., by hand.
verb (used with object), scythed, scything.
2.
to cut or mow with a scythe.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English sith, Old English sīthe, earlier sigdi; cognate with Old Norse sigthr; spelling sc by pseudoetymological association with Latin scindere to cut or with scissors
Related forms
scytheless, adjective
scythelike, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for scythe
  • Once retracted, it is effective as a scythe at close quarters.
British Dictionary definitions for scythe

scythe

/saɪð/
noun
1.
a manual implement for cutting grass, etc, having a long handle held with both hands and a curved sharpened blade that moves in a plane parallel to the ground
verb
2.
(transitive) to cut (grass, etc) with a scythe
Derived Forms
scythelike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English sigthe; related to Old Norse sigthr, Old High German segansa
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 scythe
n.

Old English siðe, sigði, from Proto-Germanic *segithoz (cf. Middle Low German segede, Middle Dutch sichte, Old High German segensa, German Sense), from PIE root *sek- "to cut" (see section (n.)). The sc- spelling crept in early 15c., from influence of Latin scissor "carver, cutter" and scindere "to cut." Cf. French scier "saw," a false spelling from sier.

v.

1570s, "use a scythe;" 1590s "to mow;" from scythe (n.). From 1897 as "move with the sweeping motion of a scythe." Related: Scythed; scything.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for scythe

one of the most important of all agricultural hand tools, consisting of a curved blade fitted at an angle to a long, curved handle and used for cutting grain. In modern scythes the handle has a projecting peg that is grasped by one hand, facilitating control of the swinging motion by which grass and grain are cut. The exact origin of the scythe is unknown, but it was little used in the ancient world. It came into wide use only with agricultural developments of the Carolingian era (8th century AD) in Europe, when the harvesting and storing of hay became important to support livestock through winters.

Learn more about scythe with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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14
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