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bil·bo 1

n. pl. bil·boes
An iron bar to which sliding fetters are attached, formerly used to shackle the feet of prisoners.

[Origin unknown.]

bil·bo 2

n. pl. bil·boes Archaic
A sword, especially one having a well-tempered blade.

[After Bilbao.]


n, pl -bos or -boes
(Arms & Armour (excluding Firearms)) (formerly) a sword with a marked temper and elasticity
[C16: from Bilboa, variant (in English) of Bilbao, Spain, noted for its blades]


(ˈbɪl boʊ)

n., pl. -boes.
Usu., bilboes. a long iron bar or bolt with sliding shackles and a lock, formerly attached to the ankles of prisoners.
[1550–60; earlier bilbow, of obscure orig.]


or bil•boa

(ˈbɪl boʊ)

n., pl. -boes or -boas.
[1585–95; short for Bilboa blade sword made in Bilboa (variant of Bilbao)]
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References in periodicals archive ?
We cannot afford to let the lower passions, present in us all, become explicit in our Bilbos and our Webbs.
Vardamans, Theodore Bilbos, and John Rankins, now replaced by the likes of Sen.
He chronicles the efforts of Southern progressives to deal constructively with race and the ways those efforts were routinely swatted aside like gnats by the Bilbos, Talmadges, Rankins, and Eastlands who were elected by Southern whites to uphold the old order.
The council's vision of a slumless city has been dashed, in no small part because too many men like Starr consumed themselves fighting the wrong enemies--the Jane Jacobses, Metropolitan Councils and minority squatters, instead of the Senator Bilbos, home builders' lobbies and speculators.