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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
hammer and sickle
▪ A clear example of a mutation altering development is the inherited genetic defect, sickle cell anaemia.
▪ Diagnosis of the clinically severe forms of sickle cell disease is not difficult, providing awareness of the disease is high.
▪ In Britain one in ten black people carry the sickle cell gene.
▪ Diagnostic features of different types of sickle cell disease.
▪ Around 300 children with sickle cell disease are registered at King's College Hospital.
▪ The most effective way of organising specialist care is through sickle cell centres, which can offer both clinical and psychological support.
▪ Chronic and acute problems associated with sickle cell anaemia.
▪ The role of the staff at sickle cell centres is highly varied, but is summarised in Table 4.
▪ Diagnosis of the clinically severe forms of sickle cell disease is not difficult, providing awareness of the disease is high.
▪ His beard was mushroom-colored, his eyes were pale as dew, and he carried a rusty sickle.
▪ In Britain one in ten black people carry the sickle cell gene.
▪ In the dim light of the December moon, a silver sickle, the landscape was bare no trees, no snow.
▪ Notburga simply threw her sickle in the air, where it stayed until her boss gave in.
▪ She would then face him and, saying her own sickle needed sharpening, neatly slice off his head.
▪ The economy was mixed with remains of wheat, grinding stones and iron sickles indicating agriculture alongside the remains of domestic animals.
▪ The twilight sky was lavender and dark enough that Venus was out, hung above a freshly minted sickle moon.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Sickle \Sic"kle\, n. [OE. sikel, AS. sicol; akin to D. sikkel, G. sichel, OHG. sihhila, Dan. segel, segl, L. secula, fr. secare to cut; or perhaps from L. secula. See Saw a cutting instrument.]

  1. A reaping instrument consisting of a steel blade curved into the form of a hook, and having a handle fitted on a tang. The sickle has one side of the blade notched, so as always to sharpen with a serrated edge. Cf. Reaping hook, under Reap.

    When corn has once felt the sickle, it has no more benefit from the sunshine.

  2. (Astron.) A group of stars in the constellation Leo. See Illust. of Leo.

    Sickle pod (Bot.), a kind of rock cress ( Arabis Canadensis) having very long curved pods.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English sicol, probably a West Germanic borrowing (Middle Dutch sickele, Dutch sikkel, Old High German sihhila, German Sichel) from Vulgar Latin *sicila, from Latin secula "sickle" (source also of Italian segolo "hatchet"), from PIE root *sek- "to cut" (see section (n.)). Applied to curved or crescent-shaped things from mid-15c. Sickle-cell anemia is first recorded 1922.

  1. Shaped like the blade of a sickle; crescent-shaped. n. (context agriculture English) an implement, having a semicircular blade and short handle, used for cutting long grass and cereal crops v

  2. 1 (context agriculture transitive English) To cut with a sickle 2 (context transitive English) To deform (as with a red blood cell) into an abnormal crescent shape. 3 (context intransitive English) To assume an abnormal crescent shape. Used of red blood cells.


n. an edge tool for cutting grass or crops; has a curved blade and a short handle [syn: reaping hook, reap hook]


A sickle is a hand-held agricultural tool with a variously curved blade typically used for harvesting grain crops or cutting succulent forage chiefly for feeding livestock (either freshly cut or dried as hay). A bagging hook is a large sickle, usually with an offset handle.

A great diversity of types is used across many cultures. Between the dawn of the Iron Age and present, hundreds of region-specific variants of this basic forage-cutting tool were forged of iron, later steel.

One noteworthy feature of sickles is that their edges have been made in two very distinct manners/patterns - smooth or serrated. While both can (albeit with a different technique) be used for cutting either green grass or mature cereals, it is the serrated sickle that still dominates the duty of harvesting grain - with other words the "reaping". Modern kitchen knives with serrated edges, as well as grain-harvesting machines use the same design principle as prehistoric sickles.

Sickle (disambiguation)

A sickle is an agricultural tool.

Sickle may also refer to:

  • Sickle Mountain, Antarctica
  • Sickle Ridge, Antarctica
  • Sickle Nunatak, Antarctica
  • The Sickle, a name for part of Leo (constellation)
  • Sickle (horse), an English thoroughbred
  • HMS Sickle (P224), a Second World War Royal Navy submarine
  • SS-25 Sickle, NATO reporting name for the RT-2PM Topol mobile intercontinental ballistic missile
  • A sickle, a silver coin of currency in Harry Potter
Sickle (horse)

Sickle (8 February 1924 – 26 December 1943) was a British-bred thoroughbred racehorse who was later exported to the U.S. where he was twice the leading sire in North America. He was bred by Edward Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby.

Sickle was a full brother to Pharamond, who also was a successful sire in the U.S. Their sire Phalaris, was twice the leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland and a three-time leading broodmare sire in Great Britain & Ireland. His dam Selene produced 16 named foals including the leading Argentine and Brazilian sire Hunter's Moon, and Hyperion, the 1933 Epsom Derby and St Leger Stakes winner and a six-time leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland as well as a four-time leading broodmare sire in Great Britain and Ireland. Pharamond and Sickle were inbred to Cyllene in the third and fourth generation (3Sx4D) and St. Simon in the third and fourth generation (4Sx3D).

Sickle was raced by Lord Derby and trained by George Lambton. The colt met with some success in racing, winning three of his ten starts and notably finishing third in a field of 23 in the 2,000 Guineas Stakes in 1927.

Usage examples of "sickle".

Single gene defects are known to cause several thousand different diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, and hemophilia.

Once as they were sauntering homeward by the brink of the turbid Eger, they came to a man lying on the grass with a pipe in his mouth, and lazily watching from under his fallen lids the cows grazing by the river-side, while in a field of scraggy wheat a file of women were reaping a belated harvest with sickles, bending wearily over to clutch the stems together and cut them with their hooked blades.

GM tomatoes are as different from the crop of my youth as the einkorn and emmer they harvested in the Fertile Crescent with obsidian sickles.

He walked slowly into the hayfield, took up a sickle and began to cut.

A sickle moon rode the purple skies, shedding just enough light to distinguish the huddled shapes a few yards away as men, rather than rocks.

He had begun with simple tallies, marked with wheatear, sickle, and flower, but he needed lists of all his people, and their villages, and the bartons and their yeoman marshals.

Clinging to the mast of this magic cherry tree was an abundance of equally inadmissible mistletoe, sacred since the dawn of time, when the Druids used to harvest it with silver sickles before going on to perform solstitial rites of memorable beastliness at megalithic sites all over Europe.

Upside down as she was, she could see, in the topmost right-hand windowpane he had left unfrosted, the sickle moon, precise as if pasted on the sky.

Was my restriction to the adamant sickle and the shadow-trick in the Cetus episode self-imposed or laid on by Athene, and if the former, was my motive to impress Andromeda with skill and valor rather than with magic?

Seeing the sickle, I wished for my sword, though the billhook was no mean weapon.

Hood, his immediate opponent, also fell, losing an arm then and a leg later at Chickamauga, but Longstreet still pushed the attack, and the Northern generals who had stood around Sickles resisted with the stubbornness of men who meant to succeed or die.

Israelis claim Grozny sold the Iranians sickle missiles with nuclear warheads when he helped negotiate the 2007 Middle East Peace Accord.

They had a complete understanding of the altered genetic mechanisms that let the malaria parasites colonize sickled blood cells, where no malaria parasites had ever been able to boldly go before.

When that was expended they would use sturdy clubs, sharp sickles, and even their bare hands.

Two of the women began to cut thistles with their sickles, gathering them into their aprons.