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

Not even red sabers, the color wielded by such dark lords at Darth Vader and Kylo Ren. Scott Craven, azcentral, "So you got a lightsaber at Disney's Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Can you take it on a plane?," 5 June 2019 The saber-rattling has a way of stressing allies almost as much as adversaries. Peter Baker, New York Times, "A Drama of Trump’s Own Making Ends With a Familiar Hero," 9 June 2019 And in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the run-up to the 2018 Winter Games was marked by concerns about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s nuclear saber-rattling. Marisa Guthrie, The Hollywood Reporter, "NBCUniversal Expects to Rake in More Than $1.2B for 2020 Tokyo Olympics," 23 July 2019 Whether all this saber-rattling is the prelude to a dramatic autumn crisis or simply Mr. Johnson’s tough opening bid in talks with the European Union is far from clear. Stephen Castle, New York Times, "On Eve of Her Exit, May Denounces Political Rancor. Some Blame Her for It.," 17 July 2019 The saber-rattling between the U.S. and Iran appears to have parallels to the build-up to the 2003 Iraq War. Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY, "What we know: Rising tensions between the United States and Iran," 21 June 2019 Soldiers used tear gas and sabers to clear their path; smoke billowed from the burning encampments. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "As the GI Bill turns 75, Arizona's Sen. Ernest McFarland is remembered for key role," 21 June 2019 Trump’s Twitter account, which once provided regular saber-rattling on Venezuela, has largely gone silent on the subject. Josh Dawsey, Washington Post, "With Maduro entrenched in Venezuela, Trump loses patience and interest in issue, officials say," 19 June 2019 The trouble is that solutions that can burst out from a handheld device and terminate just a few feat away tend to be weak and flame-based like this saber. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "This Real-Life Flaming Lightsaber Is About As Real As It Gets," 18 Dec. 2015

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.

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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

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Statistics for saber

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for saber

The first known use of saber was in 1680

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More Definitions for saber



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

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More from Merriam-Webster on 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).


concealment of treason or felony

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