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[sham-bok, -buhk] /ʃæmˈbɒk, -ˈbʌk/
(in southern Africa) a heavy whip, usually of rhinoceros hide.
verb (used with object)
to whip with or as if with such a whip.
Origin of sjambok
1820-30; < Afrikaans s(j)ambok < Malay cambuk whip < Hindi cābuk Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sjambok
Historical Examples
  • They generally carry a sjambok, a strip of rhinoceros hide about three feet long and an inch thick.

  • sjambok occurs in 17th-century accounts of India in the form chawbuck.

  • I exerted all my powers of persuasion to arrest the flight of my burghers; even bringing the sjambok into the argument.

    Three Years' War Christiaan Rudolf de Wet
  • There was the sjambok I had forgotten still lying on the window sill.

    Prester John John Buchan
  • Then came the sharp crack as of a sjambok wielded by a strong and well-accustomed arm.

    Charge! George Manville Fenn
  • You are 'Mwanga's dog, and he will skin you with a sjambok soon.'

    Prester John John Buchan
  • Now the sjambok cuts like a knife, and the savage gave a tremendous jump.

    Adventures in Swaziland Owen Rowe O'Neil
  • Sibijaan drove the mules and swung his sjambok without mercy.

    Adventures in Swaziland Owen Rowe O'Neil
  • “You should have seen Revell sabreing them all right and left with a sjambok when they cheeked him at that kraal,” guffawed Trask.

    A Veldt Vendetta Bertram Mitford
  • “Let him taste the sjambok” growled the old burgher who had expressed the opinion antagonistic to British veracity.

    Aletta Bertram Mitford
British Dictionary definitions for sjambok


/ˈʃæmbʌk; in South Africa -bɒk/
a heavy whip of rhinoceros or hippopotamus hide
a stiff synthetic version of this, used in crowd control
verb -boks, -bokking, -bokked
(transitive) to strike or beat with such a whip
Word Origin
C19: from Afrikaans, from Malay samboq, chamboq, from Urdu chābuk
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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