The word lance could refer to a number of different weapons. Essentially, a lance was a long shaft, pointed or blunt, that was used by cavalry. In jousts, the lance was blunted, and designed to knock the opposing knight off of his horse. It was also weakened for safety. In the case of war, the lance was used by massed cavalry in formation, to overwhelm lines of infantry or other cavalry. Lances used in combat were stronger and not tapered like a jousting lance.