assegai

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as·se·gai

or as·sa·gai  (ăs′ə-gī′)
n.
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).]

assegai

(ˈæsəˌɡaɪ) or

assagai

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]

as•se•gai

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]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.assegai - the slender spear of the Bantu-speaking people of Africaassegai - the slender spear of the Bantu-speaking people of Africa
lance, spear, shaft - a long pointed rod used as a tool or weapon
Translations

assegai

nAssagai m
References in classic literature ?
This was my purpose: first to creep into my own hut and get my assegais and a skin blanket, then to gain speech with Baleka.
So I cut my way through the reed fence with my assegai and crept to the hut where Baleka was with some of her half-sisters.
I had remembered the wall in the fencing-room decorated with trophies of cold steel in all the civilized and savage forms; sheaves of assegais, in the guise of columns and grouped between them stars and suns of choppers, swords, knives; from Italy, from Damascus, from Abyssinia, from the ends of the world.
In the centre of the mantel was a stuffed bird-of-paradise, while about the room were scattered gorgeous shells from the southern seas, delicate sprays of coral sprouting from barnacled pi-pi shells and cased in glass, assegais from South Africa, stone axes from New Guinea, huge Alaskan tobacco-pouches beaded with heraldic totem designs, a boomerang from Australia, divers ships in glass bottles, a cannibal kai-kai bowl from the Marquesas, and fragile cabinets from China and the Indies and inlaid with mother-of-pearl and precious woods.
Native mats covered the clay walls; a collection of spears, assegais, shields, knives was hung up in trophies.
Trying to accommodate this rich texture of meanings, the sentence could be translated as: "The induna baboon sits alert, it is beautiful to watch him, looking with such vigour as if his eyes are piercing like assegais, eyes that are so deep-seated they seem to drown from the sight of the setting sun--in fact the baboon looks at it as if he sees it for the last time before dying.
The Empire-grabbing reasons for being there may have been dubious, but I always think of the ordinary soldier, thousands of miles from home, in the fierce heat, listening to the menacing buzz of 4,000 assegais in the distance, beating against ox-hide shields as the Zulus advanced.
On the day the strikers marched from the mountain to the mine to stop dissenting workers from continuing with drilling work, "Mambush was carrying two assegais, one in each hand" (p.