noun, often attributive \ˈsrd\

: a weapon with a long metal blade that has a sharp point and edge

Full Definition of SWORD

:  a weapon (as a cutlass or rapier) with a long blade for cutting or thrusting that is often used as a symbol of honor or authority
a :  an agency or instrument of destruction or combat
b :  the use of force <the pen is mightier than the sword — E. G. Bulwer-Lytton>
:  coercive power
:  something that resembles a sword
sword·like \-ˌlīk\ adjective
at swords' points
:  mutually antagonistic :  ready to fight

Examples of SWORD

  1. <once upon a time dueling with swords was the gentlemanly way to settle a point of honor>

Illustration of SWORD

Origin of SWORD

Middle English, from Old English sweord; akin to Old High German swert sword
First Known Use: before 12th century

Related to SWORD

Other Weapons and Explosives Terms

automatic, carbine, cudgel, muzzle, rapier


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Hand weapon consisting of a long metal blade fitted with a handle or hilt. Roman swords had a short, flat blade and a hilt distinct from the blade. Medieval European swords were heavy and equipped with a large hilt and a protective guard, or pommel. The blade was straight, double-edged, and pointed. The introduction of firearms did not eliminate the sword but led to new designs; the discarding of body armour required the swordsman to be able to parry, and the rapier, a double-edged sword with a narrow, pointed blade, came into use. Swords with curved blades were used in India and Persia and were introduced into Europe by the Turks, whose scimitar, with its curved, single-edged blade, was modified in the West to the cavalry sabre. Japanese swords are renowned for their hardness and extreme sharpness; they were the weapon of the samurai. Repeating firearms ended the value of the sword as a military weapon, though its continued use in duels led to the modern sport of fencing. See also kendo.


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