an ax of stone or metal without perforations or grooves, for hafting.
Celtic (def 1).
a member of an Indo-European people now represented chiefly by the Irish, Gaels, Welsh, and Bretons.
Historical Examples

(archaeol) a stone or metal axelike instrument with a bevelled edge
a person who speaks a Celtic language
a member of an Indo-European people who in pre-Roman times inhabited Britain, Gaul, Spain, and other parts of W and central Europe

“stone chisel,” 1715, from a Latin ghost word (apparently a misprint of certe) in Job xix:24 in Vulgate: “stylo ferreo, et plumbi lamina, vel celte sculpantur in silice;” translated, probably correctly, in KJV as, “That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever.” But assumed by others to be a genuine carving tool, partly because it was in the Bible, and thereafter adapted by archaeologists as a name for a class of prehistoric implements.

also Kelt, c.1600, from Latin Celta, singular of Celtae, from Greek Keltoi, Herodotus’ word for the Gauls (who also were called Galatai). Used by the Romans of continental Gauls but apparently not of the British Celtic tribes. Originally in English in reference to ancient peoples; extention to their modern descendants is from mid-19c., from French usage.


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  • Celtiberian

    noun a member of a Celtic people (Celtiberi) who inhabited the Iberian peninsula during classical times the extinct language of this people, possibly belonging to the Celtic branch of the Indo-European family, recorded in a number of inscriptions Historical Examples

  • Celtic-cross

    a cross shaped like a Latin cross and having a ring that intersects each segment of the shaft and crossbar at a point equidistant from their junction. noun a Latin cross with a broad ring surrounding the point of intersection

  • Celticism

    a Celtic custom or usage. Historical Examples

  • Celto-Germanic

    having the characteristics of both the Celtic and Germanic peoples. pertaining to or designating a style of art developed in northern and western Europe from about the 5th to 9th centuries a.d., chiefly characterized by the use of recognizable human or animal motifs elaborated into complex interlaced patterns.

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