A glaive is a European polearm weapon, consisting of a single-edged blade on the end of a pole. It is similar to the Japanese naginata, the Chinese guan dao or Dacian Falx. The word is originated from French. Almost all etymologists derive it from either the Latin (gladius) or Celtic (*cladivos, cf. claymore) word for sword. In the 15th century, it acquired the meaning it has today.
Typically, the blade was around 45 cm (18 inches) long, on the end of a pole 2 m (6 or 7 feet) long, and the blade was affixed in a socket-shaft configuration similar to an axe head, rather than having a tang like a sword or naginata. Occasionally glaive blades were created with a small hook on the reverse side to better catch riders. Such blades are called glaive-guisarmes.
According to the 1599 treatise Paradoxes of Defense by the English gentleman George Silver, the glaive is used in the same general manner as the quarterstaff, half pike, bill, halberd, voulge, or partisan. Silver rates this class of polearms above all other individual hand-to-hand combat weapons.
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