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The term melee weapon is a neologism, usually absent from scientific and historical scholarship. It denotes weapons for use in hand-to-hand combat (such as a sword or club), in contrast to ranged weapons (such as a bow or rifle).

The term derives from the French term mêlée, from Vulgar Latin misculāta "mixed", from Latin miscēre "to mix", that's meaning “mixed”, and referring to groups of warriors interlocked in close combat, when devolving into a chaotic scenario without military formation. The term can refer to a free-for-all competition in knightly combat sports. As such melee weapons do not include statically emplaced weapons, like a boobytrap or burning devices, but are carried. A melee weapon is a type of "cold weapon".

There are two basic divisions — edged weapons, of which examples include swords, axes and knives and blunt weapons, such as clubs, hammers, staffs, and maces.

Blunt weapons rely mostly on mass and raw impact energy to disable opponents through broken bones, internal trauma or concussions. Generally they are used in some sort of swinging motion to charge kinetic energy into the weapon's mass.

Historically, maces and flails were developed and used to combat armoured infantry, such as knights, because of their ability to cause injuries even "through" plate armour, and were also very effective against flexible armour, such as mail. However, blunt weapons are usually heavier than edged weapons, as the extra weight is needed to cause greater damage, especially through armour. This often makes blunt weapons both strenuous to wield and difficult to maneuver.

Examples:

  • Club
  • Baseball Bat
  • Long Stick
  • Pool Cue
  • Mace
  • Flail
  • Baton
  • Visitor Stun Baton
  • 2 X 4
  • Hammer
  • Sledgehammer
  • Quarterstaff
  • Spear
  • Whip
  • Nunchaku (Nunchucks)



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