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A Zweihänder at the Zwinger museum in Dresden, Germany

Alternative forms[edit]


From German Zweihänder, from zwei two + Hand hand + -er = “two hander”.


  • Anglicised 1: IPA(key): /ˈtsvaɪhɛndɚ/
  • Anglicised 2: IPA(key): /ˈtsvaɪ.hæn.dɚ/
  • Germanic: IPA(key): /ˈtsvaɪhɛndɐ/


Zweihänder (plural Zweihänder)

  1. A two-handed sword primarily of Renaissance Germany, up to a fathom in length, invented in the fourteenth century.
    • 1994, Douglas Miller, The Landsknechts, p42
      Their major weapon was the pike, which could be up to 18 feet in length, but those whose duty it was to advance in the front line carried instead the fearsome Zweihänder; an enormous battle-sword around 66 inches in length.
    • 1995, R. Coltman Clephan, The Mediaeval Tournament, p105
      …and even the two-handed sword, Zweihänder