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 But most observers have concluded for now that the highly visible build-up is most likely saber-rattling, though the threat of escalation still can’t be ruled out. Patrick Reevell, ABC News, "Russia moves troops near Ukraine: Analysts explain what's behind the buildup," 19 Apr. 2021 In an effort to deter other candidates, Blanchard made a saber-rattling $3 million commitment for television airtime before the May 24, 2022, primary. Kim Chandler, Star Tribune, "Brooks teasing possible Senate run at planned campaign rally," 18 Mar. 2021 This is mainly saber-rattling out of frustration over being unable to stop Barrett’s appointment. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Democrats’ Barrett Demagoguery," 26 Oct. 2020 In the 1995-1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis, President Bill Clinton sent two carrier battle groups into international waters near Taiwan in response to Beijing’s saber-rattling toward the island. Washington Post, "China’s aggression and the Trump administration’s shortsightedness," 12 Mar. 2021 What worried investors wasn’t just the saber-rattling and tough talk directed toward Beijing, which the U.S. had tangled with on trade issues for years, but also against the E.U., Canada and Mexico. NBC News, "The year that could have been: How the pandemic derailed Trump's economic plans," 9 Mar. 2021 Driven in part by Beijing’s metallurgical saber-rattling, countries such as Australia and the U.S. have ramped up mining and processing. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Rare Truths About China’s Rare Earths," 3 Mar. 2021 Our hominid ancestors took about two days to hunt down a wooly mammoth or saber-toothed tiger. Eli Amdur, Forbes, "Six Ways We Will Shake Up And Shape Up Our Workplace," 25 Feb. 2021 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 Examples on the Web: Verb Sign some papers, get the keys to your new place, saber the champagne. Brittany Anas, House Beautiful, "What Every Homebuyer Should Expect When Closing on a Home," 12 Mar. 2021 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

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

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Saber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 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

Comments on saber

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