truncheon

[truhn-chuhn]
noun
1.
the club carried by a police officer; billy.
2.
a staff representing an office or authority; baton.
3.
the shattered shaft of a spear.
4.
Obsolete. cudgel; bludgeon.
verb (used with object)
5.
Archaic. to beat with a club.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English tronchon fragment < Middle French < Vulgar Latin *trunciōn-, stem of *trunciō literally, a lopping. See trunk, -ion

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truncheon (ˈtrʌntʃən)
 
n
1.  chiefly (Brit) a short thick club or cudgel carried by a policeman
2.  a baton of office: a marshal's truncheon
3.  archaic a short club or cudgel
4.  the shaft of a spear
 
vb
5.  (tr) to beat with a truncheon
 
[C16: from Old French tronchon stump, from Latin truncus trunk; see truncate]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

truncheon
c.1300, "shaft of a spear," also "short stick, cudgel," from O.N.Fr. tronchon, O.Fr. tronchon (11c.) "a piece cut off, thick stick, stump," from V.L. *truncionem (nom. *truncio), from L. truncus (see trunk). Meaning "staff as a symbol of office" is recorded from 1575; sense
of "policeman's club" is recorded from 1880.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Every one of them carried in his hand a thick truncheon of elm.
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