Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To strike or slash with a sword.
  • noun One of the standards upon which oscillates the slay or lathe of a loom.
  • noun A bar or blade, in a measuring-machine, upon which cloths are rolled or wound.
  • noun Another spelling of sward.
  • noun An offensive weapon consisting of an edged blade fixed in a hilt composed of a grip, a guard, and a pommel. See hilt.
  • noun Figuratively, the power of the sword—that is, the power of sovereignty, implying overruling justice rather than military force.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The cause of death or destruction.
  • noun Conflict; war.
  • noun Any utensil or tool somewhat resembling a sword in form or in use, as a swingle used in flax-dressing.
  • noun The prolonged snout of a swordfish or a sawfish.
  • noun 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun 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.
  • noun Hence, the emblem of judicial vengeance or punishment, or of authority and power.
  • noun Destruction by the sword, or in battle; war; dissension.
  • noun The military power of a country.
  • noun (Weaving) One of the end bars by which the lay of a hand loom is suspended.
  • noun the right arm.
  • noun a bayonet shaped somewhat like a sword, and which can be used as a sword.
  • noun one who carries his master's sword; an officer in London who carries a sword before the lord mayor when he goes abroad.
  • noun a belt by which a sword is suspended, and borne at the side.
  • noun the blade, or cutting part, of a sword.
  • noun a cane which conceals the blade of a sword or dagger, as in a sheath.
  • noun A dance performed over swords laid on the ground, but without touching them.
  • noun fencing; a combat or trial of skill with swords; swordplay.
  • noun (Bot.) See Gladen.
  • noun a ribbon tied to the hilt of a sword.
  • noun government by the sword, or by force; violence.
  • noun (Bot.) See Gladiolus.
  • noun (Naut.) a mat closely woven of yarns; -- so called from a wooden implement used in its manufacture.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a European shrimp (Pasiphæa sivado) having a very thin, compressed body.
  • noun a sword cane.
  • noun See under Measure, v. t.
  • noun See under Put.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English sweord.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

Examples

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