sa·​ber | \ ˈsā-bər How to pronounce saber (audio) \
variants: or chiefly British sabre

Definition of saber

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a cavalry sword with a curved blade, thick back, and guard
2a : 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
b : the sport of fencing with the saber


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

Definition of saber (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to strike, cut, or kill with a saber

Illustration of saber

Illustration of saber


saber 1

In the meaning defined above

Examples of saber in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With saber-like leaves and colorful flowers, crocosmia (or its cousin gladiolus) will make a striking contrast to Orienpets. Andrea Beck, Better Homes & Gardens, "What Are Orienpet Lilies and Why You Need Them in You Garden," 23 June 2020 In one picture from the latest film, The Rise of Skywalker, Daisy Ridley’s Rey stabs Adam Driver’s Kylo with a light saber. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Imagining a Better End to The Rise of Skywalker," 4 Jan. 2020 Viewers relate to Rey and Kylo merely as playground proxies, not as figures who struggle with a moral conflict greater than what a light saber can resolve. Armond White, National Review, "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," 20 Dec. 2019 Countries occasionally impose sanctions on policymakers and legislators of an adversary, sometimes without teeth as a form of saber-rattling. Paul Cobler, Dallas News, "China threatens to sanction Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, other GOP lawmakers, over coronavirus criticism," 15 May 2020 But paleontologists believe Smilodon may have used more elegant weapons — its signature sabers — to slash a vulnerable area. Joshua Sokol, New York Times, "They Knew Saber-toothed Tigers Were Big. Then They Found This Skull.," 14 Mar. 2020 While the economic standstill brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak is a major factor, the saber-rattling between Saudi Arabia and Russia has made matters worse. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "Exxon, others meet Trump over brutal oil price drops; Ted Cruz says Saudi Arabia has been ‘screwing Texas’," 3 Apr. 2020 The signing took place following a new round of saber-rattling in the Pacific Ocean. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, "Angry US-China rivalry intensifies despite Trump talk with Xi Jinping," 27 Mar. 2020 No saber-tooth tiger is coming after you in this moment. Katherine Rosman, New York Times, "Some Tips on How to Stay Sane in a World That Isn’t," 22 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb At the end of the night, learn to saber a bottle of champagne. Lisa Herendeen, The Mercury News, "21 Bay Area wine festivals and cocktail events in July and beyond," 22 June 2019 Below, Pelka counsels us on everything from how to select the perfect Champagne to how to safely saber your bottle of bubbly. Madeleine Luckel, Vogue, "A Champagne Lover’s Guide to Hosting a Last-Minute Bastille Day Soirée," 13 July 2018 The most impressive way to kick off any Champagne-fueled party is to saber a bottle, popping the cork from the wine with the swipe of a knife. Madeleine Luckel, Vogue, "A Champagne Lover’s Guide to Hosting a Last-Minute Bastille Day Soirée," 13 July 2018 Champagne bottles are sabered open with swords and free Lexus shuttles stop for anyone who doesn’t feel like walking more than a block. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "Diamonds, caviar and the Instagram-famous: Inside America's most exclusive food festival," 19 June 2018 Here's a step-by-step guide on how to saber a bottle of champagne. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "How to Saber a Bottle of Champagne," 21 Dec. 2017 Michael Minnillo, the general manager of the French Laundry, the chef Thomas Keller’s elegant restaurant in Yountville, Calif., had just sabered open a bottle of Dom Pérignon, leaving the eyes of the teenagers wide. Sam Sifton, New York Times, "Settle In for Winter With This Sausage Risotto," 18 Jan. 2018 Afterward, learn the Napoleonic tradition of sabering champagne bottles and bundle up for the Kettle One Ice Room, the world’s coldest vodka tasting room. Destination Canada, Bon Appetit, "The Ultimate Guide to British Columbia’s Après-Ski Scene," 31 Oct. 2017 The most impressive way to kick off any Champagne-fueled party is to saber a bottle, popping the cork from the wine with the swipe of a knife. Madeleine Luckel, Vogue, "A Champagne Lover’s Guide to Hosting a Last-Minute Bastille Day Soiree," 14 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'saber.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of saber


1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1790, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for saber


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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about saber

Time Traveler for saber

Time Traveler

The first known use of saber was in 1680

See more words from the same year

Statistics for saber

Last Updated

29 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Saber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for saber


How to pronounce saber (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of saber

: a long, heavy sword with a curved blade
: a lightweight sword that is used in fencing


variants: or sabre \ ˈsā-​bər \

Kids Definition of saber

: a long sword with a curved blade

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on saber

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for saber

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with saber

Spanish Central: Translation of saber

Nglish: Translation of saber for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of saber for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about saber

Comments on saber

What made you want to look up saber? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!