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 saber (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 Amid this year’s domestic unrest, Russia’s saber-rattling directed at Silicon Valley has reached a new intensity. New York Times, "China Censors the Internet. So Why Doesn’t Russia?," 21 Feb. 2021 Recent weeks have seen a new round of saber-rattling, amid fears the Trump administration might attempt to provoke a conflict in its final days. James Griffiths, CNN, "Iran's Rouhani hopes Biden will return to Obama-era nuclear deal as he dubs Trump a 'tyrant'," 20 Jan. 2021 Dire wolves, which died out with mammoths and saber-toothed cats at the end of the last ice age, were long thought to be close cousins of gray wolves. David Grimm, Science | AAAS, "The legendary dire wolf may not have been a wolf at all," 13 Jan. 2021 The event came amid a Workers’ Party Congress, in which Kim renewed his saber-ratting toward the U.S. and outlined plans for a broad upgrade of his nuclear forces to improve his capacity to strike across the Pacific. Jon Herskovitz,, "Kim Jong Un Appears to Hold Military Parade After Blasting U.S.," 11 Jan. 2021 To rightfully claim them, Bo-Katan must win the saber in combat. Alex Kane, USA TODAY, "'The Mandalorian' recap: ‘The Rescue’," 19 Dec. 2020 After the Gators beat Missouri 41-17 in a game marred by a halftime brawl, Mullen showed up for his post-game press conference with reporters wearing a full Darth Vader costume, light saber included. Creg Stephenson |, al, "Dan Mullen dresses as Darth Vader for post-game press conference," 1 Nov. 2020 In the South American savanna of the Pleistocene epoch, the saber-toothed big cat Smilodon survived by ambushing resident megafauna. Magazine, "Saber-toothed cats were surprising heavyweights," 30 Nov. 2020 The ceremony caps a week of events, and jingoistic saber-rattling in Chinese state media and official propaganda. James Griffiths, CNN, "As rivalry with Washington heats up, Beijing commemorates 'victory' in 'war to resist US aggression'," 22 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The horse’s saddle and blanket, and the boots and saber the horse carried in honor of the president, remain part of the Kennedy Library’s permanent collection. al, "Arthur, Black Jack and JFK: Alabama teen and a wild, riderless horse honored slain president," 24 Nov. 2020 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

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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Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Saber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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