sword

[ sawrd, sohrd ]
/ sɔrd, soʊrd /

noun

a weapon having various forms but consisting typically of a long, straight or slightly curved blade, sharp-edged on one or both sides, with one end pointed and the other fixed in a hilt or handle.
this weapon as the symbol of military power, punitive justice, authority, etc.: The pen is mightier than the sword.
a cause of death or destruction.
war, combat, slaughter, or violence, especially military force or aggression: to perish by the sword.
(initial capital letter) Military. the code name for one of the five D-Day invasion beaches on France's Normandy coast, assaulted by British forces.

Idioms

Origin of sword

before 900; Middle English; Old English sweord; cognate with Dutch zwaard, German Schwert, Old Norse sverth

Related forms

sword·less, adjectivesword·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for cross swords

sword

/ (sɔːd) /

noun

a thrusting, striking, or cutting weapon with a long blade having one or two cutting edges, a hilt, and usually a crosspiece or guard
such a weapon worn on ceremonial occasions as a symbol of authority
something resembling a sword, such as the snout of a swordfish
cross swords to argue or fight
the sword
  1. violence or power, esp military power
  2. death; destructionto put to the sword

Derived Forms

swordless, adjectiveswordlike, adjective

Word Origin for sword

Old English sweord; related to Old Saxon swerd, Old Norse sverth, Old High German swert
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with cross swords (1 of 2)

cross swords


Fight, either verbally or physically. For example, At every policy meeting the two vice-presidents crossed swords. This phrase alludes to the ancient form of combat using swords. Also see at sword's point.

Idioms and Phrases with cross swords (2 of 2)

sword


In addition to the idiom beginning with sword

  • sword of Damocles

also see:

  • at sword's point
  • cross swords
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.