• Objects found at a 17th-century forge site at Jamestown: blacksmith’s tools, bar iron, a few incomplete items, sword guards, and slag. It appears that the forge was in operation as early as 1625
    Objects found at a 17th-century forge site at Jamestown: blacksmith’s tools, bar iron, a few incomplete items, sword guards, and slag. It appears that the forge was in operation as early as 1625
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n sword a cutting or thrusting weapon that has a long metal blade and a hilt with a hand guard
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The princess, holding a sword, stands over the sleeping snake The princess, holding a sword, stands over the sleeping snake
As the Shah raised his sword an old man stepped from behind the tree As the Shah raised his sword an old man stepped from behind the tree
The merchants wave cloths and swords to scare the eagle from its nest The merchants wave cloths and swords to scare the eagle from its nest
Brewster's and Standish's Swords Brewster's and Standish's Swords

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The 1st performance of Handel's "Messiah" was on April 13, 1742 at the New Music rooms in Fishamble St., Dublin. Because of the demand for space, the men were asked not to wear their swords and the ladies not to wear hooped skirts.
    • Sword 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.
    • Sword Destruction by the sword, or in battle; war; dissension. "I came not to send peace, but a sword ."
    • Sword Hence, the emblem of judicial vengeance or punishment, or of authority and power. "He [the ruler] beareth not the sword in vain.""She quits the balance, and resigns the sword ."
    • Sword (Weaving) One of the end bars by which the lay of a hand loom is suspended.
    • Sword The military power of a country. "He hath no more authority over the sword than over the law."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The origin of right-handed buttons on men's shirts stems from battles where they wore armor. With most men being right handed the armor needed to overlap so that a sword could not enter through the gap during a right-handed blow from an adversary.
    • n sword An offensive weapon consisting of an edged blade fixed in a hilt composed of a grip, a guard, and a pommel. See hilt. The sword is usually carried in a scabbard, and in the belt or hanging from the belt (see belt, hanger, carriage), but sometimes in a baldric, or, as in the middle ages, secured to the armor. The word includes weapons with straight, slightly curved, and much-curved blades; weapons with one or two edges, or triangular in section; the blunt or unpointed weapons used in the tourney, which were sometimes even of whalebone; and the modern schläger. But, in contradistinction to the saber, the sword is specifically considered as double-edged, or as used for the point only, and therefore having no serviceable edge. See broadsword, claymore, rapier, and cuts under saber, second, simitar, and tourney-sword.
    • n sword Figuratively, the power of the sword—that is, the power of sovereignty, implying overruling justice rather than military force.
    • n sword Specifically, military force or power, whether in the sense of reserved strength or of active warfare; also, the military profession; the profession of arms; arms generally.
    • n sword The cause of death or destruction.
    • n sword Conflict; war.
    • n sword Any utensil or tool somewhat resembling a sword in form or in use, as a swingle used in flax-dressing.
    • n sword The prolonged snout of a swordfish or a sawfish.
    • n sword A light sword used for modern fencing with the point only, introduced about the middle of the seventeenth century and replacing, about 1700, all other blades except the heavy saber used in warfare. The small sword proper has a blade of triangular section, usually concave on each of the three sides, so as to be extremely light in proportion to its rigidity, and its hilt is usually without quillons, but has always a knuckle-bow and usually two shells.
    • sword To strike or slash with a sword.
    • n sword Another spelling of sward.
    • n sword One of the standards upon which oscillates the slay or lathe of a loom.
    • n sword A bar or blade, in a measuring-machine, upon which cloths are rolled or wound.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The symbols used on playing cards were supposed to represent the four classes of men: hearts represented the clergy; spades (from the Spanish word espada, or sword) represented the warriors; clubs were originally leaves and represented the peasants; and citizens and merchants were recognized in the diamonds.
    • n Sword sōrd an offensive weapon with a long blade, sharp upon one or both edges, for cutting or thrusting: destruction by the sword or by war, war, military force: the emblem of vengeance or justice, or of authority and power
    • ***


  • Charles Reade
    Charles Reade
    “Beauty is power; a smile is its sword.”
  • Amy Lowell
    Amy Lowell
    “All books are either dreams or swords.”
  • R. Buckminster Fuller
    “Those who play with the devil's toys will be brought by degrees to wield his sword.”
  • Proverb
    “Gluttony kills more than the sword.”
  • Proverb
    “Love rules his kingdom without a sword.”
  • Homer
    “Without a sign, his sword the brave man draws, and asks no omen, but his country's cause.”


Beat swords into ploughshares - If people beat swords into ploughshares, they spend money on humanitarian purposes rather than weapons. (The American English spelling is 'plowshares')
Cross swords - When people cross swords, they argue or dispute. This expression is used when some groups accuse each other for non-adherence to norms. Actually no sword is used but the tempo of the argument is high enough to cause worsening of the already bad situation. It is a tussle (vehement struggle without use of arms) between the parties to establish supremacy.
Double-edged sword - If someone uses an argument that could both help them and harm them, then they are using a double-edged sword sword; it cuts both ways.
Fall on your sword - If someone falls on their sword, they resign or accept the consequences of some wrongdoing.
Pen is mightier than the sword - The idiom 'the pen is mightier than the sword' means that words and communication are more powerful than wars and fighting.
Put to the sword - If someone is put to the sword, he or she is killed or executed.
Two-edged sword - If someone uses an argument that could both help them and harm them, then they are using a two-edged sword; it cuts both ways.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. swerd, AS. sweord,; akin to OFries. swerd, swird, D. zwaard, OS. swerd, OHG. swert, G. schwert, Icel. sverð, Sw. svärd, Dan. sværd,; of uncertain origin
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. sweord; Ice. sverdh, Ger. schwert.


In literature:

Pish, that's nothing; soldiers have got their swords and pistols to think about, not their pens.
"The Young Castellan" by George Manville Fenn
What a fine sword you have, and what a big knapsack!
"Children's Literature" by Charles Madison Curry
The combatants dismounted and drew their swords.
"With Spurs of Gold" by Frances Nimmo Greene
By sword and by fire must her sins be purged.
"Sea-Dogs All!" by Tom Bevan
But he was soon to be drawn from the plough to the sword.
"Historic Tales, Volume 11 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
As they rode together Arthur said, 'I have no sword,' but Merlin bade him be patient and he would soon give him one.
"The Book of Romance" by Various
The young man dared not shorten his sword length to meet this new danger.
"A Daughter of Raasay" by William MacLeod Raine
Each man carried a sword stuck in front through the girdle.
"An Explorer's Adventures in Tibet" by A. Henry Savage Landor
The king gave Joan armour and horses, and offered her a sword.
"The Red True Story Book" by Various
The sword of the satellite defended the master; other swords began to gleam anew.
"The Duke's Motto" by Justin Huntly McCarthy
With these sword-pieces again made whole, the sword shall win the world for that son of thine.
"Operas Every Child Should Know" by Mary Schell Hoke Bacon
He lifted himself, wagging his sword, showing his great silvery side.
"Tales of Fishes" by Zane Grey
From the other parts of the palace came sounds of struggle, the clashing of sword on sword.
"The Martian Cabal" by Roman Frederick Starzl
But how can this barbarian face the sword of an officer of His Majesty's army?
"The O'Ruddy" by Stephen Crane
I turned his sword with my dagger, and thrust with my own sword under the pike, piercing his side.
"The Bright Face of Danger" by Robert Neilson Stephens
With Colonel Bluekoff leading, his sword whirling about his head, the troop dashed forward at a charge.
"The Boy Allies with the Cossacks" by Clair W. Hayes
With an oath, Retoc pushed the sword back into its scabbard and put sharp heels to his stad's flanks.
"Quest of the Golden Ape" by Ivar Jorgensen
Down this path the swords of Amber went out to kill.
"From Sea to Sea" by Rudyard Kipling
We shan't get either the sword-cane nor yet the pistols and bullets on the top of the guard-robe.
"The White Plumes of Navarre" by Samuel Rutherford Crockett
QUEEN-M. Sheathe up your swords; you need not swords, but eyes To intercept this treason.
"A Select Collection of Old English Plays" by Robert Dodsley

In poetry:

Enamoured I linger,
Close mantled, for thee--
With sword and with guitar,
O look once on me!
"A Serenade" by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin
As I gird on for fighting
My sword upon my thigh,
I think on old ill fortunes
Of better men than I.
" II: As I Gird on for Fighting" by A E Housman
That we go wailing, wailing,
Around a foreign horde–
Nor raise the call to conflict,
Nor ever draw the sword.
"The King of Ireland's Cairn" by Anna Johnston MacManus
In the spring chill,
as I slept with sword by pillow,
deep at night
my little sister came to me
in dreams from home.
"Tanka 04" by Masaoka Shiki
Ease, of all good gifts the best,
War and wave at last decree:
Love alone denies us rest,
Crueller than sword or sea.
""Well he slumbers, greatly slain"" by William Watson
I bring you the sword of a song,
The sword of my spirit's desire,
Feeble; but laid at your feet,
That which was weak shall be strong,
That which was cold shall take fire,
That which was bitter be sweet.
"Dedication To Joseph Mazzini" by Algernon Charles Swinburne

In news:

Stardom is double-edged sword for private Clooney.
For Romney Family, Pinterest Is a Double-Edged Sword.
Her voice was featured in 'The Sword in the Stone' and 'Mary Poppins.'.
Her voice was featured in 'The Sword in the Stone' and 'Mary Poppins.
Read the first chapter from "Unholy Night" the new novel that recasts the story of the Three Wise Men of the Nativity as a swords and sandals adventure romp by the author of "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.".
The Sword – Veil Of Isis.
Farmers face a double-edged sword when it comes to health care.
Peter Dinklage Owns the Sword-and-Sex 'Game of Thrones'.
For many people in the Tennessee Valley, spring is a double-edged sword.
Samurai Swords Don't Kill Water Bottles.
Kit Harington ready to display sword-wielding skills in Warners epicw.
Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith Religion in American War and Diplomacy Andrew Preston Knopf, $37.50, 832 pp.
IV pumps and the start button — now that's a double-edged sword for both healing and potential disaster.
Novelist's Unwitting Role: Sword Against Militants.
Ashland University photo Shannon Sword.

In science:

Statistical techniques are the double-edged sword of high-energy astrophysics.
A Search for Gamma-Ray Bursts and Pulsars, and the Application of Kalman Filters to Gamma-Ray Reconstruction
The photometric analysis of large galaxies is a double edged sword.
ARCHANGEL Galaxy Photometry System
Further the tamils had the practice; if the child was born dead (aborted embryo) or dies after birth they had the custom of cutting it by a sword and burying it.
Mathematical Analysis of the Problems faced by the People With Disabilities (PWDs)
This was only to show they had the custom of cutting it by a sword and burying it.
Mathematical Analysis of the Problems faced by the People With Disabilities (PWDs)
Calculability at low energies is a double-edged sword.
Quantum Gravity and Precision Tests
While genetic convergence is useful for focusing the search efforts of a genetic algorithm, convergence which is too rapid or of the wrong sort hampers a genetic algorithm from exploring more fertile areas of a fitness landscape. In short, modularity is a double-edged sword for genetic algorithms.
Effect of Degree Distribution on Evolutionary Search
Perhaps Barrow learn of it during his Mediterranean voyage Noises of swords and pirates sound here in the TV scene, and Barrow himself enters in the lecture room.
Dream of a Christmas lecture
Glasses have been of use to mankind from early on, be it as arrowheads for the stone age people of Corsica and the Americas, the obsidian battle axes and swords of the Aztecs, pumice scrappers for animal hides, or the tektite ornaments and fertility symbols of our ancestors.
Formulation of thermodynamics for the glassy state: configurational energy as a modest source of energy
The celebrated Stromquist’s solution involves a referee who moves her sword from left to right.
On the Complexity of Envy-Free Cake Cutting
The three players each has a knife at the point that would cut the right piece to the sword in half, according to their own valuation.
On the Complexity of Envy-Free Cake Cutting
While the referee’s sword moves right, the three knives all move right in parallel but possibly at different speeds.
On the Complexity of Envy-Free Cake Cutting
At all times, each player evaluates the piece to the left of the sword, and the two pieces that would result if the middle knife cuts.
On the Complexity of Envy-Free Cake Cutting
If any of them sees the left piece of the sword is the largest, he would shout ”cut”.
On the Complexity of Envy-Free Cake Cutting