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1 definition found
 for To take up cudgels for
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Cudgel \Cudg"el\ (k?j"?l), n. [OE. kuggel; cf. G. keule club
     (with a round end), kugel ball, or perh. W. cogyl cudgel, or
     D. cudse, kuds, cudgel.]
     A staff used in cudgel play, shorter than the quarterstaff,
     and wielded with one hand; hence, any heavy stick used as a
     weapon.
     [1913 Webster]
  
           He getteth him a grievous crabtree cudgel and . . .
           falls to rating of them as if they were dogs. --Bunyan.
     [1913 Webster]
  
     Cudgel play, a fight or sportive contest with cudgels.
  
     To cross the cudgels, to forbear or give up the contest; --
        a phrase borrowed from the practice of cudgel players, who
        lay one cudgel over another when the contest is ended.
  
     To take up cudgels for, to engage in a contest in behalf of
        (some one or something).
        [1913 Webster]

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