American Dictionary of the English Language

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CUDGEL, noun A short thick stick of wood, such as may be used by the hand in beating. It differs strictly from a club, which is larger at one end than the other. It is shorter than a pole, and thicker than a rod.

To cross the cudgels, to forbear the contest; a phrase borrowed from the practice of cudgel-players, who lay one cudgel over another.

CUDGEL, verb transitive

1. To beat with a cudgel or thick stick.

2. To beat in general.