A cutter mattock


From Middle English mattok (mattock, pickaxe), from Old English mattuc, meottoc, mettac (mattock, fork, trident), from Proto-Germanic *mattukaz (mattock, ploughshare), from Proto-Indo-European *matn-, *mat- (a hoe, ploughshare). Related to Old High German medela (plough), Middle High German metze, metz (knife), Latin mateola (implement for digging in the soil), Polish motyka (hoe, mattock), Russian моты́га (motýga, hoe, mattock), Lithuanian matikkas (mattock), Sanskrit मत्य (matyà, harrow, roller, club). More at mason.


  • IPA(key): /ˈmætək/
  • (file)


mattock (plural mattocks)

  1. An agricultural tool whose blades are at right angles to the body, similar to a pickaxe.
    • 2020, Hilary Mantel, The Mirror and the Light, Fourth Estate, page 695:
      Workmen, breaking up an old floor, have come to him, mattocks in their hands, dismayed: ‘Mr Richard, see what we have turned up ...’



mattock (third-person singular simple present mattocks, present participle mattocking, simple past and past participle mattocked)

  1. To cut or dig with a mattock.

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