Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A weapon consisting typically of a long, straight or slightly curved, pointed blade having one or two cutting edges and set into a hilt.
  • n. An instrument of death or destruction.
  • n. The use of force, as in war.
  • n. Military power or jurisdiction.
  • idiom at swords' points Ready for a fight.
  • idiom put to the sword To kill; slay.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A long-bladed weapon having a handle and sometimes a hilt and designed to stab, cut or slash.
  • n. Someone paid to handle a sword.
  • n. A suit in the minor arcana in tarot.
  • n. A card of this suit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An offensive weapon, having a long and usually sharp-pointed blade with a cutting edge or edges. It is the general term, including the small sword, rapier, saber, scimiter, and many other varieties.
  • n. Hence, the emblem of judicial vengeance or punishment, or of authority and power.
  • n. Destruction by the sword, or in battle; war; dissension.
  • n. The military power of a country.
  • n. One of the end bars by which the lay of a hand loom is suspended.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An offensive weapon consisting of an edged blade fixed in a hilt composed of a grip, a guard, and a pommel. See hilt.
  • n. Figuratively, the power of the sword—that is, the power of sovereignty, implying overruling justice rather than military force.
  • n. Specifically, military force or power, whether in the sense of reserved strength or of active warfare; also, the military profession; the profession of arms; arms generally.
  • n. The cause of death or destruction.
  • n. Conflict; war.
  • n. Any utensil or tool somewhat resembling a sword in form or in use, as a swingle used in flax-dressing.
  • n. The prolonged snout of a swordfish or a sawfish.
  • n. A light sword used for modern fencing with the point only, introduced about the middle of the seventeenth century and replacing, about 1700, all other blades except the heavy saber used in warfare. The small sword proper has a blade of triangular section, usually concave on each of the three sides, so as to be extremely light in proportion to its rigidity, and its hilt is usually without quillons, but has always a knuckle-bow and usually two shells.
  • To strike or slash with a sword.
  • n. Another spelling of sward.
  • n. One of the standards upon which oscillates the slay or lathe of a loom.
  • n. A bar or blade, in a measuring-machine, upon which cloths are rolled or wound.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a cutting or thrusting weapon that has a long metal blade and a hilt with a hand guard

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English sweord.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English sword, swerd, from Old English sweord ("sword"), from Proto-Germanic *swerdan (“sword”), from Proto-Indo-European *su̯r̥dhom (“sword”), from Proto-Indo-European *swer- (“to cut, pierce, fester”). Cognate with Scots swerd, sword ("sword"), North Frisian swird ("sword"), West Frisian swurd ("sword"), Dutch zwaard ("sword"), Low German Sweerd, Schwert ("sword"), German Schwert ("sword"), Swedish svärd ("sword"), Icelandic sverð ("sword"), Old Church Slavonic  (svĭrdĭlŭ, "drill"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • located in Merriam Webtster's Notebook Dictionary pg 80

    September 25, 2010

  • September 19, 2007