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 ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.