broadsword

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English[edit]

A schiavona, a type of broadsword from 16th–17th century Italy.

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From broad +‎ sword

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

broadsword (plural broadswords)

  1. (historical) A type of early modern sword that has a broad double-edged blade for cutting (as opposed to the more slender thrust-oriented rapier) and a basket hilt.
    • 1861, Wood, John George, Athletic Sports and Recreations for Boys[1], page 93:
      The principal distinction between the broadsword and the rapier is, that the latter is formed only for thrusting, while the former is adapted for cutting also. Indeed, those who use the broadsword are, in my opinion, too apt to neglect the use of the point, and to give their attention almost exclusively to the cuts.
    • 1995, Evangelista, Nick, The Encyclopedia of the Sword[2], ISBN 9780313278969, page 79:
      One version of the broadsword, the Highland broadsword, was adopted as the national sword of Scotland. Another, the schiavona, was Italy's version of the weapon.
  2. (colloquial, often fantasy) Synonym of longsword
    • 1990, Jordan, Robert, “Conan the Magnificent”, in The Conan Chronicles II, published 1997:
      The Brythunian's arm drew back; the ancient broadsword with its strange, clawed quillons arcked spinning through the air.
    • 2013, Brown, Colin, “1415 Azincourt”, in Glory and B*llocks: The Truth Behind Ten Defining Events in British History[3], ISBN 9781780744438, page 46:
      Henry carried a heavy broadsword with a cruciform hilt, and a decorated dagger on his hip known as a misericord because its blade could release souls. The English knights and men-at-arms carried broadswords, maces for smashing skulls and the murderous pole-axe, combining a spear with an axehead about five feet long.

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