Lance (?), n. [OE. lance, F. lance, fr. L. lancea; cf. Gr. . Cf. Launch.]


A weapon of war, consisting of a long shaft or handle and a steel blade or head; a spear carried by horsemen, and often decorated with a small flag; also, a spear or harpoon used by whalers and fishermen.

A braver soldier never couched lance. Shak.


A soldier armed with a lance; a lancer.

3. Founding

A small iron rod which suspends the core of the mold in casting a shell.

4. Mil.

An instrument which conveys the charge of a piece of ordnance and forces it home.

5. Pyrotech.

One of the small paper cases filled with combustible composition, which mark the outlines of a figure.

Free lance, in the Middle Ages, and subsequently, a knight or roving soldier, who was free to engage for any state or commander that purchased his services; hence, a person who assails institutions or opinions on his own responsibility without regard to party lines or deference to authority. -- Lance bucket Cavalry, a socket attached to a saddle or stirrup strap, in which to rest the but of a lance. -- Lance corporal, same as Lancepesade. -- Lance knight, a lansquenet. B. Jonson. -- Lance snake Zool., the fer-de-lance. -- Stink-fire lance Mil., a kind of fuse filled with a composition which burns with a suffocating odor; -- used in the counter operations of miners. To break a lance, to engage in a tilt or contest.


© Webster 1913.

Lance, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Lanced (); p. pr. & vb. n. Lancing (?).]


To pierce with a lance, or with any similar weapon.

Seized the due victim, and with fury lanced Her back. Dryden.


To open with a lancet; to pierce; as, to lance a vein or an abscess.


To throw in the manner of a lance. See Lanch.


© Webster 1913.

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