machete


noun

  1. a large heavy knife used especially in Latin-American countries in cutting sugarcane and clearing underbrush and as a weapon.
  2. a tarpon, Elops affinis, of the eastern Pacific Ocean, having an elongated, compressed body.

noun

  1. a broad heavy knife used for cutting or as a weapon, esp in parts of Central and South America

n.1590s (in pseudo-Spanish form macheto), from Spanish machete, probably a diminutive of macho “sledge hammer,” alteration of mazo “club,” which is probably [Barnhart] a dialectal variant of maza “mallet,” from Vulgar Latin *mattea “war club” (see mace (n.1)). An alternative explanation traces macho to Latin marculus “a small hammer,” diminutive of marcus “hammer,” from a base parallel to that of Latin malleus (see mallet).

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