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bayonet (BAY-uh-nit, -net, bay-uh-NET) noun

A blade adapted to fit the muzzle end of a rifle and used as a weapon in close combat.

verb tr.

To prod, stab, or kill with this weapon.

[French baionnette after Bayonne, a town in southwest France where the weapon was first made. The French word baionnette could mean "a dagger or a knife" as well, and the English word bayonet is first found in 1672 with this meaning. The word is first recorded in its present sense in 1704.]

"Although no tactician has taken the bayonet seriously since the Civil War, the Army sees bayonet training as a way of pumping up aggressiveness. On this morning, some of the women seemed tentative as they jabbed at dummies - but no more so than an equal ratio of men, the sergeants said." This Woman's Army With a `No Big Deal' Shrug, Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood Again Mixes Genders, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 26 Feb 1995.


It is more shameful to distrust one's friends than to be deceived by them. -De la Rochefoucauld, French writer (1613-1680)

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