The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Lance \Lance\ (l[a^]ns), n. [OE. lance, F. lance, fr. L. lancea;
cf. Gr. lo`gchh. Cf. Launch.]
1. A weapon of war, consisting of a long shaft or handle and
a steel blade or head; a spear carried by horsemen, and
often decorated with a small flag; also, a spear or
harpoon used by whalers and fishermen.
A braver soldier never couched lance. --Shak.
2. A soldier armed with a lance; a lancer.
3. (Founding) A small iron rod which suspends the core of the
mold in casting a shell.
4. (Mil.) An instrument which conveys the charge of a piece
of ordnance and forces it home.
5. (Pyrotech.) One of the small paper cases filled with
combustible composition, which mark the outlines of a
6. (Med.) A lancet.
Free lance, in the Middle Ages, and subsequently, a knight
or roving soldier, who was free to engage for any state or
commander that purchased his services; hence, a person who
assails institutions or opinions on his own responsibility
without regard to party lines or deference to authority.
See also freelance, n. and a., and freelancer.
Lance bucket (Cavalry), a socket attached to a saddle or
stirrup strap, in which to rest the but of a lance.
Lance corporal, same as Lancepesade.
Lance knight, a lansquenet. --B. Jonson.
Lance snake (Zool.), the fer-de-lance.
Stink-fire lance (Mil.), a kind of fuse filled with a
composition which burns with a suffocating odor; -- used
in the counter operations of miners.
To break a lance, to engage in a tilt or contest.