Bosworth Toller's


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  • noun [ neuter ]
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BIL, bill, es; n.
An old military weapon, with a hooked point, and an edge on the back, as well as within the curve, a BILL or a broad two-edged sword, a falchion. Whatever its shape, it must have had two edges; as, in the earliest poem, an envoy is attacked, billes ecgum, with the edges of a bill; falx, marra, falcastrum, ensis curvus. Hitherto this word has only been found in poetry
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  • Ðá ic, on morgne, gefrægn mǽg óðerne billes ecgum on bonan stælan

    then on the morrow, I have heard of the other kinsman setting on the slayer with the edges of a bill,

      Beo. Th. 4963; B. 2485.
  • Geseah ðá sige-eádig bil, eald sweord eótenisc

    then he saw a victorious bill, an old giant sword,

      Beo. Th. 3119; B. 1557.
  • Abrægd mid ðý bille

    he brandished with his sword,

      Cd. 142; Th. 177, 17; Gen. 2931.
  • Billa ecgum

    with the edges of swords,

      Cd. 210; Th. 260, 14; Dan. 709.
  • Billum abreótan

    to destroy with swords,

      Cd. 153; Th. 190, 14; Exod. 199.
[Laym. bil a falchion: O. Sax. bil, n: Dut. bijl, f: Ger. beil, beihel, n: M. H. Ger. bíle, bíl, n: O. H. Ger. bihal, bial, n: Sansk. bil to divide; findere.]
Derived forms
DER. gúþ-bil, hilde-, stán-, twí-, wíg-, wudu-.
Linked entries
v.  bill.
Full form


  • BIL, n.