1. A reaping instrument consisting of a steel blade curved into the form of a hook, and having a handle fitted on a tang. The sickle has one side of the blade notched, so as always to sharpen with a serrated edge. Cf. Reaping hook, under reap. When corn has once felt the sickle, it has no more benefit from the sunshine. (Shak)
2. (Science: astronomy) A group of stars in the constellation leo.
(Science: botany) Sickle pod, a kind of rock cress (Arabis Canadensis) having very long curved pods.
Origin: OE. Sikel, AS. Sicol; akin to D. Sikkel, G. Sichel, OHG. Sihhila, Dan. Segel, segl, L. Secula, fr. Secare to cut; or perhaps from L. Secula. See Saw a cutting instrument.