Word of the Day Archive
Friday June 21, 2013
1. a small, slender dagger.
1. to stab with a poniard.
He lifted himself up as far as the waist of Yvonnet and pricked him with his poniard. "Do yon feel the point of my poniard?" he asked. "Yes, monseigneur. Mercy! mercy! I am afraid!" "It is sharp and keen," continued Gabriel...
-- Alexandre Dumas, père, The Two Dianas, 1846
He did not want to use the poniard yet, but he longed to possess it. If he could grasp its handle and try its edge, that blank in his mind—that past which fell away continually—would not make him feel so cruelly helpless…
-- George Eliot, Romola, 1863
Poniard entered English in the 1500s and ultimately comes from the Latin pungus meaning "fist." The Old French word poignal literally refers to something held by the fist.