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Thinktank Birmingham - object 1885S00224(1).jpg
A poniard in the collection of Thinktank museum, Birmingham, England
Type Dagger
Blade type Double-edged,
straight bladed

A poniard /ˈpɒnjərd/ or poignard (Fr.) is a long, lightweight thrusting knife with a continuously tapering, acutely pointed blade and crossguard, historically worn by the upper class, noblemen, or the knighthood. Similar in design to a parrying dagger, the poniard emerged during the Middle Ages and was used during the Renaissance in Western Europe, particularly in France, Switzerland, and Italy.[1][2]

Modern use[edit]

In modern French, the term poignard has come to be defined as synonymous with dague, the general term for "dagger",[3] and in English the term poniard has gradually evolved into a term for any small, slender dagger.[4]

The Fairbairn–Sykes fighting knife may be thought of as a modern version of the poignard.

In culture[edit]

In Shakespeare's Hamlet (Act V, scene ii; line 3795), Laertes wagers "six French rapiers and poniards, with their assigns, as girdle, hangers, and so" against six Barbary horses owned by King Claudius that in a fencing match Laertes will defeat Hamlet by three or more touches.


  1. ^ "Brass-hilted Poignard". Ancient Edge. Retrieved 2007-01-10. 
  2. ^ Daggers
  3. ^ Définition Poignard
  4. ^ Poniard, Dictionary.com