Definition of palstave in English:



  • A type of chisel, typically made of bronze, which is shaped to fit into a split handle rather than having a socket for the handle.

    • ‘We thought the site was probably Middle Bronze Age (a palstave axe of that era had been found nearby), but we had no proof.’
    • ‘Also found was an unbroken half of a two-part mould for a middle Bronze Age palstave, or flanged axe.’
    • ‘It is characterized by developed bronze types including palstaves, flange-hilted swords, dirks with rounded or trapezoidal butts, and a variety of pins and bracelets.’
    • ‘A bracelet, necklace pendant (both unique in Britain), torc, beads and rings were buried in a plain pot beside two copper alloy palstaves and a chisel.’
    • ‘Discoveries on a more human scale from those distant times included bronze spears, knives and palstaves and inscribed pots.’


Mid 19th century from Danish paalstav, from Old Norse pálstavr, from páll ‘hoe’ (compare with Latin palus ‘stake’) + stafr ‘staff’.