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From Middle High German swert, from Old High German swert (attested since the 8th century); from Proto-Germanic *swerdą, from Proto-Indo-European *swer- ‎(to fester, to cut)

Germanic Cognates with identical meaning include Low German Sweerd, Dutch zwaard, Afrikaans swaard, English sword, West Frisian swurd, Danish sværd, Norwegian sverd, Swedish svärd, Icelandic sverð, Faroese svørð.

The further etymology outside the Germanic branch is currently unknown. *swerdą, swerða- seems to be a nominal derivative with dental suffix originating from Indo-European *swer- and may, thus, be a cognate to German schwären ‎(to fester).[1]



Schwert n ‎(genitive Schwerts or Schwertes, plural Schwerter)

  1. A sword; an ancient weapon for the intention to cut, stab or slash at one's opponent
    Er zückte augenblicklich sein Schwert. — He drew his sword immediately.
    Das Katana war ein weit verbreitetes Schwert in Japan. — The katana was a very common sword in Japan.
    Breitschwert — broadsword
    Langschwert — longsword
  2. The blade of a chainsaw
  3. The dorsal fin of certain kinds of whales
    Schwertwal — orca
  4. An appendage at the head of a few fish, made of keratin



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  1. ^ Pfeifer, Wolfgang. 1995, 2005. Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Deutschen. München: dtv. ISBN 3423325119.

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