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[hal-berd, hawl-, hol-; formerly haw-berd] /ˈhæl bərd, ˈhɔl-, ˈhɒl-; formerly ˈhɔ bərd/

a shafted weapon with an axlike cutting blade, beak, and apical spike, used especially in the 15th and 16th centuries.
a weapon consisting of a long shaft with an axe blade and a pick, topped by a spearhead: used in 15th- and 16th-century warfare

late 15c., from Middle French hallebarde (earlier alabarde, 15c.), from Middle High German halmbarte “broad-axe with handle,” from halm “handle” (see helm) + barte “hatchet,” possibly from Proto-Germanic *bardoz “beard,” also “hatchet, broadax.” Alternative etymology [Kluge, Darmesteter] traces first element to helm “helmet,” making the weapon an axe for smashing helmets.


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