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A riding whip with a short, stiff handle and a lash made of two or more loose thongs.
[Probably from Mexican Spanish cuarta (from Spanish, quarter, span (unit of length), quarter of a yard (the quirt possibly being so called because its handle was a cuarta in length)), from Old Spanish, quarter, from Latin quārta, fourth; see quart, or perhaps from Spanish cuerda, cord (from Old Spanish, from Latin chorda; see cord).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Horse Training, Riding & Manège) a whip with a leather thong at one end
(Horse Training, Riding & Manège) to strike with a quirt
[C19: from Spanish cuerda cord]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
1. a riding whip consisting of a short, stout stock and a lash of braided leather.v.t.
2. to strike with a quirt.
[1835–45, Amer.; perhaps < Sp cuerda cord]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Past participle: quirted
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011