often attributive
: 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
: an agency or instrument of destruction or combat
: the use of force
the pen is mightier than the swordE. G. Bulwer-Lytton
: coercive power
: something that resembles a sword
swordlike adjective

Illustration of sword

Illustration of sword
  • 1 pommel
  • 2 hilt
  • 3 guard
  • 4 blade
at swords' points
: mutually antagonistic : ready to fight

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 The hull will be crafted from green epoxy composites and finished in high gloss paint that shines bright like a sword. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 20 Sep. 2023 Deep in the darkness of woods, Percy wields a magical sword and charges at a mystical creature before the teaser cuts to the show's title. Jp Mangalindan, Peoplemag, 19 Sep. 2023 However, the only item she’s received is an antique sword that was believed by her grandfather to be proof that the South won the Civil War. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, 13 Sep. 2023 One vivid pair was found in a theater corridor, clashing with a short sword and a spear. Amy Crawford, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Sep. 2023 This being One Piece, though, the character can’t resist the urge to add a kooky flourish: Zoro’s signature move is busting out a third sword, to be wielded with his teeth. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 Aug. 2023 Washington State In their first home game since the death of Mike Leach, the Cougars honored their former coach in numerous ways, including T shirts featuring pirate swords and the WSU logo. Jon Wilner | , oregonlive, 10 Sep. 2023 The swords have wooden and leather hilts, and their steel blades are all between 60 and 65 centimeters (24 and 26 inches) long. Christopher Parker, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Sep. 2023 The swords were removed and transferred to the Israel Antiquities Authority laboratories for preservation and conservation. Mary Walrath-Holdridge, USA TODAY, 7 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sword.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near sword

Cite this Entry

“Sword.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sword. Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


ˈsō(ə)rd How to pronounce sword (audio)
: a weapon having a long blade usually with a sharp point and edge
: the use of force
swordlike adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on sword

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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