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bill sb.1: obsolete military weapon consisting of a long wooden handle having at one end a blade or axe-shaped head R2 III. ii. 118; in the 16th and 17th centuries painted or varnished in different colours, hence “brown bill” 2H6 IV. x. 14, Lr. IV. vi. 93; a similar weapon used by constables (with play on BILL sb.2) Ado III. iii. 189 “being taken up of these men's bills,” 2H6 IV. vii. 134.
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