- to engage in combat; fight.
- to disagree violently; argue: The board members crossed swords in the selection of a president.
Origin of sword
British Dictionary definitions for cross swords
- violence or power, esp military power
- death; destructionto put to the sword
Word Origin for sword
Word Origin and History for cross swords
Old English sweord, from Proto-Germanic *swerdan (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian swerd, Old Norse sverð, Swedish svärd, Middle Dutch swaert, Dutch zwaard, Old High German swert, German Schwert), related to Old High German sweran "to hurt," from *swertha-, literally "the cutting weapon," from PIE root *swer- (3) "to cut, pierce." Contrast with plowshare is from the Old Testament (e.g. Isaiah ii:4, Micah iv:3). Phrase put (originally do) to the sword "kill, slaughter" is recorded from mid-14c.
Idioms and Phrases with cross swords (1 of 2)
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)
In addition to the idiom beginning with sword
- sword of Damocles
- at sword's point
- cross swords