A hurlbat (or whirlbat, whorlbat) is a weapon of unclear original definition. Older reference works refer to it largely as a type of club, either held in the hand or possibly thrown. Modern usage appears to refer to a type of throwing-axe.
The term was used as a by-name in England as early as 1327, and the hurlebatte was mentioned, possibly as a type of club, among the pikestaff and sword and buckler in a 1440 text.
The 16th-century Thomas Elyot dictionary uses the term to translate a Latin word, and describes a throwing action: Adides, short battes of a cubyte longe and an halfe, hauynge pikes of yron in theym, and were tyed to a lyne, that whanne they were throwen, he that did cast thẽ, mought plucke them agayn vnto him, hurlebattes.
A 1707 English dictionary defines whorlbat as "a kind of Gauntlet with Straps and leaden Plummets, uſed by the ancient Heroes in their ſolemn Games and Exerciſes.