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sa·​ber ˈsā-bər How to pronounce saber (audio)
variants or chiefly British sabre
: a cavalry sword with a curved blade, thick back, and guard
: a light fencing or dueling sword having an arched guard that covers the back of the hand and a tapering flexible blade with a full cutting edge along one side and a partial cutting edge on the back at the tip compare épée, foil entry 4
: the sport of fencing with the saber

Illustration of saber

Illustration of saber
  • saber 1


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variants or chiefly British sabre
sabered or sabred; sabering or sabring ˈsā-b(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce saber (audio)

transitive verb

: to strike, cut, or kill with a saber

Examples of saber in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Once again, Russian President Vladimir Putin is seemingly rattling the nuclear saber. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, 6 May 2024 Russian President Vladimir Putin is expanding his nuclear arsenal and rattling these sabers toward the West in his war against Ukraine. Sarah Matusek, The Christian Science Monitor, 2 May 2024 The island, which has long been a focal point of North Korean saber rattling, is home to Andersen Air Force Base, from which the US can launch its B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers across the Indo-Pacific. Brad Lendon, CNN, 30 Mar. 2024 Generations would pass after Ms. Camber’s retirement from fencing before women were invited fully into the sport, whose weapons include the épée and the saber in addition to the foil. Emily Langer, Washington Post, 28 Feb. 2024 Other objects leaving the Rijksmuseum include two guns, two sabers and a knife. Teresa Nowakowski, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 July 2023 Moscow now exhibits no inhibitions about rattling every nuclear saber at its disposal, and Beijing has undertaken a rapid nuclear expansion to advance its revisionist agenda in the Asia-Pacific and beyond. Kyle Balzer, National Review, 12 Mar. 2024 If only there was a piece of antique furniture from a great-aunt, a Civil War saber from a distant cousin. Lisa Swander, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 Mar. 2024 Some of his favorites include a Spanish cup-hilt rapier, a defensive left-hand dagger from the 15th century, and a Napoleonic cavalry saber. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 1 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'saber.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



French sabre, modification of German dialect Sabel, from Middle High German, probably of Slav origin; akin to Russian sablya saber

First Known Use


1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1790, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of saber was in 1680

Dictionary Entries Near saber

Cite this Entry

“Saber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants or sabre
: a cavalry sword with a curved blade
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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