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noun Usage: often attributive Etymology: Middle English, from Old English sweord; akin to Old High German swert sword Date: before 12th century
Hand weapon consisting of a long metal blade fitted with a handle or hilt. Roman swords had a short, flat blade and a hilt distinct from the blade. Medieval European swords were heavy and equipped with a large hilt and a protective guard, or pommel. The blade was straight, double edged, and pointed. The introduction of firearms did not eliminate the sword but led to new designs; the discarding of body armor required the swordsman to be able to parry, and the rapier, a double-edged sword with a narrow, pointed blade, came into use. Swords with curved blades were used in India and Persia and were introduced into Europe by the Turks, whose scimitar, with its curved, single-edged blade, was modified in the West to the cavalry saber. Japanese swords are renowned for their hardness and extreme sharpness; they were the weapon of the samurai. Repeating firearms ended the value of the sword as a military weapon, though its continued use in duels led to the modern sport of fencing. See also kendo.
n. 1 a weapon usu. of metal with a long blade and hilt with a handguard, used esp. for thrusting or striking, and often worn as part of ceremonial dress. 2 (prec. by the) a war. b military power. Phrases and idioms: put to the sword kill, esp. in war. sword-bearer an official carrying the sovereign's etc. sword on a formal occasion. sword dance a dance in which the performers brandish swords or step about swords laid on the ground. sword grass a grass, Scirpus americanus, with swordlike leaves. sword knot a ribbon or tassel attached to a sword-hilt orig. for securing it to the wrist. sword lily = GLADIOLUS. sword of Damocles an imminent danger (from Damokles, flatterer of Dionysius of Syracuse (4th c. BC) made to feast while a sword hung by a hair over him). the sword of justice judicial authority. Sword of State a sword borne before the sovereign on State occasions. sword-swallower a person ostensibly or actually swallowing sword blades as entertainment. Derivatives: swordlike adj. Etymology: OE sw(e)ord f. Gmc
Sword Sword, n. [OE. swerd, AS. sweord; akin to OFries. swerd, swird, D. zwaard, OS. swerd, OHG. swert, G. schwert, Icel. sver?, Sw. sv["a]rd, Dan. sv[ae]rd; of uncertain origin.] 1. An offensive weapon, having a long and usually sharp?pointed blade with a cutting edge or edges. It is the general term, including the small sword, rapier, saber, scimiter, and many other varieties. 2. Hence, the emblem of judicial vengeance or punishment, or of authority and power. He [the ruler] beareth not the sword in vain. --Rom. xiii. 4. She quits the balance, and resigns the sword. --Dryden. 3. Destruction by the sword, or in battle; war; dissension. I came not to send peace, but a sword. --Matt. x. 34. 4. The military power of a country. He hath no more authority over the sword than over the law. --Milton. 5. (Weaving) One of the end bars by which the lay of a hand loom is suspended. Sword arm, the right arm. Sword bayonet, a bayonet shaped somewhat like a sword, and which can be used as a sword. Sword bearer, one who carries his master's sword; an officer in London who carries a sword before the lord mayor when he goes abroad. Sword belt, a belt by which a sword is suspended, and borne at the side. Sword blade, the blade, or cutting part, of a sword. Sword cane, a cane which conceals the blade of a sword or dagger, as in a sheath. Sword dance. (a) A dance in which swords are brandished and clashed together by the male dancers. --Sir W. Scott. (b) A dance performed over swords laid on the ground, but without touching them. Sword fight, fencing; a combat or trial of skill with swords; swordplay. Sword grass. (Bot.) See Gladen. Sword knot, a ribbon tied to the hilt of a sword. Sword law, government by the sword, or by force; violence. --Milton. Sword lily. (Bot.) See Gladiolus. Sword mat (Naut.), a mat closely woven of yarns; -- so called from a wooden implement used in its manufacture. Sword shrimp (Zo["o]l.), a European shrimp (Pasiph[ae]a sivado) having a very thin, compressed body. Sword stick, a sword cane. To measure swords with one. See under Measure, v. t. To put to the sword. See under Put.
(swords) 1. A sword is a weapon with a handle and a long sharp blade. N-COUNT 2. If you cross swords with someone, you disagree with them and argue with them about something. ...a candidate who's crossed swords with Labor by supporting the free-trade pact... PHRASE: V inflects, PHR with n, pl-n PHR 3. If you say that something is a double-edged sword or a two-edged sword, you mean that it has negative effects as well as positive effects. PHRASE: N inflects 4. Sword of Damocles: see Damocles
of the Hebrew was pointed, sometimes two-edged, was worn in a sheath, and suspended from the girdle (Ex. 32:27; 1 Sam. 31:4; 1 Chr. 21:27; Ps. 149:6: Prov. 5:4; Ezek. 16:40; 21:3-5).
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