sickle (n.)

"instrument for reaping grain, a curved metal blade on a short handle or haft," Middle English sikel, from late Old English sicol, probably a West Germanic borrowing (compare 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 attested by 1922, from the characteristic shape of the red blood cells in people who have it.

updated on September 29, 2022