A sword is a long, edged piece of forged metal, used in many civilizations throughout the world, primarily as a cutting or thrusting weapon and occasionally for clubbing. The word sword comes from the Old English sweord, cognate to Old High German swert, Middle Dutch swaert, Old Norse sverð (cf.Danish sværd, Norwegian sverd, Swedish svärd) Old Frisian and Old Saxon swerd and Modern Dutch zwaard and German Schwert, from a Proto-Indo-European root *swer- "to wound, to cut".
A sword fundamentally consists of a blade and a hilt, typically with one or two edges for striking and cutting, and a point for thrusting. The basic intent and physics of swordsmanship have remained fairly constant through the centuries, but the actual techniques vary among cultures and periods as a result of the differences in blade design and purpose. Unlike the bow or spear, the sword is a purely military weapon, and this has made it symbolic of warfare or naked state power in many cultures. The names given to many swords in mythology, literature, and history reflect the high prestige of the weapon.