1. An implement having a crescent-shaped blade attached to a short handle, used for cutting grain or tall grass.
2. The cutting mechanism of a reaper or mower.
v. sick·led, sick·ling, sick·les
1. To cut with a sickle.
2. To deform (a red blood cell) into an abnormal crescent shape.
To assume an abnormal crescent shape. Used of red blood cells.
Shaped like the blade of a sickle; crescent-shaped: a sickle moon.
[Middle English sikel, from Old English sicol, from Vulgar Latin sicila, from Latin sēcula; see sek- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)sickle
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.