also partisan, "long-handled cutting weapon used in England 14c.-16c.," 1550s, from Italian partesana, partigiana, a word of uncertain origin. The Old French form of the word, pertuisane, as if from pertuiser "make full of holes," suggests an ultimate source in Latin pertusus "bored through," past participle of pertundere, but this might be French folk-etymology.
CITIZENS: Clubs, bills, and partisans! Strike! Beat them down!
Down with the Capulets! Down with the Montagues!
["Romeo and Juliet," Act I, scene I]
The word was revived somewhat in 19c. by Scott and other antiquarian writers.