- 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.
- 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.]
- Destruction by the sword, or in battle; war; dissension."I came not to send peace, but a sword." [Matt. x. 34.]
- The military power of a country."He hath no more authority over the sword than over the law." [Milton.]
- [Weaving] One of the end bars by which the lay of a hand loom is suspended.
Etymology: 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