noun, often attributive
\ ˈsȯrd How to pronounce sword (audio) \

Definition of sword

1 : a weapon (such as a cutlass or rapier) with a long blade for cutting or thrusting that is often used as a symbol of honor or authority
2a : an agency or instrument of destruction or combat
b : the use of force the pen is mightier than the sword— E. G. Bulwer-Lytton
3 : coercive power
4 : something that resembles a sword
at swords' points
: mutually antagonistic : ready to fight

Illustration of sword

Illustration of sword

sword 1: 1 pommel, 2 hilt, 3 guard, 4 blade

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Other Words from sword

swordlike \ ˈsȯrd-​ˌlīk How to pronounce sword (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for sword


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Examples of sword in a Sentence

once upon a time dueling with swords was the gentlemanly way to settle a point of honor
Recent Examples on the Web Pirate & Princess Light Display — The nighttime show in the St. Augustine atrium features dazzling lights and imagery, including sword fights, waves, pirate ships, crowns, tiaras and jewels. Kathleen Christiansen, orlandosentinel.com, "Pirate and Princess Weekends return to Gaylord Palms," 29 Dec. 2020 At the end of this road lies theocracy, which could only be achieved at the point of the sword, or withdrawal into faith communities whose existence is protected by the polity their members scorn. William A. Galston, WSJ, "A Start at Bridging the Partisan Gulf," 29 Dec. 2020 Nearby is a case containing jewelry once owned by Virginia, his wife, along with a sword that belonged to his father, George Farragut, a naval officer in the Revolutionary War. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Things are shipshape at the Army and Navy Club on Farragut Square in D.C.," 18 Nov. 2020 The man told police Smartt was pounding on his door which prompted him to answer with a sword in his hand, arrest records state. Cameron Knight, The Enquirer, "Police: Woman attacked man with his own sword," 10 Nov. 2020 The white supremacists who paraded in fascist sword-and-sandals kitsch with homemade shields and spears have sharply receded. Alex Yablon, The New Republic, "Why Police Back Gun Guys," 20 Nov. 2020 Mensah also fatally shot Antonio Gonzales in 2015 after Gonzales refused to drop a sword, according to police. NBC News, "Wisconsin police officer who killed 3 people since 2015 resigns," 18 Nov. 2020 In 2015, Officer Mensah and another officer fatally shot Antonio Gonzalez, who was wielding a sword when he was confronted by the police. Maria Cramer, New York Times, "Decision Not to Charge Wisconsin Officer in Fatal Shooting Draws Protests," 8 Oct. 2020 The sword and scabbard, along with other items unearthed, such as spears, and bronze and glass vessels, are being conserved by Pieta Greaves of Drakon Heritage and Conservation, according to the University of Reading. James Rogers, Fox News, "Ancient warlord’s skeleton and sword discovered after 1,400 years," 6 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sword.' 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 sword

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sword

Middle English, from Old English sweord; akin to Old High German swert sword

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Time Traveler for sword

Time Traveler

The first known use of sword was before the 12th century

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Statistics for sword

Last Updated

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sword.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sword. Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for sword


How to pronounce sword (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sword

: a weapon with a long metal blade that has a sharp point and edge


\ ˈsȯrd How to pronounce sword (audio) \

Kids Definition of sword

: a weapon having a long blade usually with a sharp point and edge

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