assegai(redirected from assagaing)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
as·se·gaior as·sa·gai (ăs′ə-gī′)
1. A light spear or lance used by Bantu peoples of southern Africa.
2. A tall evergreen tree (Curtisia dentata) of southern Africa, having durable wood used for making weapons, furniture, and other wooden products, and bark that is used in traditional medicine.
[Early Modern English, from Middle French azagaye (probably via Old Spanish azagaya, a small spear or javelin), from Arabic az-zaġāya, the spear : al-, the + zaġāya, spear, of Berber origin; akin to Tuareg tăhġait, bayonet, from earlier *tăzġait (*tă-...-t, feminine noun circumfix).]
n, pl -gais
1. (Plants) a southern African cornaceous tree, Curtisia faginea, the wood of which is used for making spears
2. (Arms & Armour (excluding Firearms)) a sharp light spear, esp one made of this wood
[C17: from Portuguese azagaia, from Arabic az zaghāyah, from al the + zaghāyah assegai, from Berber]
or as•sa•gai(ˈæs əˌgaɪ)
n., pl. -gais.
1. an iron-tipped spear used by Bantu peoples of S Africa.
2. a S African tree, Curtisia dentata, of the dogwood family, from whose wood such weapons were made.
[1615–25; earlier azagaia < Portuguese < Arabic az zaghāyah]
n → Assagai m