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1. a blade that can be attached to the muzzle of a rifle for stabbing in close combat.
2. a type of fastening in which a cylindrical member is inserted into a socket against spring pressure and turned so that pins on its side engage in slots in the socket
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a cold-steel thrusting weapon, affixed to the barrel of a firearm (since the 1800’s, a rifle, carbine, or automatic weapon) for hand-to-hand fighting. The bayonet appeared in the mid-1600’s in France (where it received its name). Originally it was a shortened spear that was driven into the bore of a gun barrel; by the late 1600’s bayonets were made entirely of metal with a sleeve that fitted tightly over the gun barrel, which permitted loading and firing with the bayonet in place. The bayonet was adopted by Russia in the early 1700’s. Various armies have used bayonets with three or four faces as well as blades, both detachable and nondetachable.

After World War II, Soviet troops were equipped with a bayonet-knife having a flat blade with teeth on one side, a hand grip by which the weapon could be attached to a gun, and a sheath; the bayonet-knife could also be used as a saw.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


An edged steel blade with a tapered point and a formed handle with an underhand grip, designed to be attached to the muzzle end of a rifle, shotgun, or the like for use in hand-to-hand combat.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.