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assegai

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
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A guard with assegai in South Africa, 1943.

English

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Alternative spellings

Pronunciation

  • IPA: /'æsəgaɪ/

Etymology

From French azagaie (now zagaie) or Portuguese azagaia, Spanish azagaya, from colloquial Arabic الزغاية (al-zaghaya), from Berber zaġāya (spear).

Noun

Singular
assegai

Plural
{{{1}}}

assegai ({{{1}}})
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  1. A slim hardwood spear or javelin with an iron tip, especially those used by Bantu peoples of Southern Africa.
    • 1902, Jospeh Conrad, Heart of Darknessm Tank Form 2007, p. 99:
      Native mats covered the clay walls; a collection of spears, assegais, shields, knives was hung up in trophies.
    • 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses:
      A birdchief, bluestreaked and feathered in war panoply with his assegai, striding through a crackling canebrake over beechmast and acorns.
  2. The tree species Curtisia dentata, because its wood is traditionally used to made assegais.

Scientific names

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb

Infinitive
to assegai

Third person singular
-

Simple past
-

Past participle
-

Present participle
-

to assegai (third-person singular simple present -, present participle -, simple past and past participle -)
  1. To spear with an assegai.

References

  • Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield, Massachusetts, G.&C. Merriam Co., 1967

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