Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


a fictional weapon in the Star Wars universe which is like a sword that can cut through almost anything

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

Origin and usage

The noun lightsaber (lightsabre in British English) was coined for the first Star Wars film which came out in 1977. It is a combination of the nouns ‘light’ and ‘saber’.


A sabre (US saber) is today a light sword used in fencing, but in the past it was a heavy, curved, single-edged sword used in battle, particularly by cavalrymen. In the Star Wars universe the lightsaber is the preferred weapon both of the Jedi and their antagonists the Sith, and has appeared in every film in the series. In place of a metal blade a lightsaber has a beam of light that can cut through almost anything. Today is Star Wars Day, an annual event celebrated by fans of the franchise since 2011. The date of May the 4th was chosen because it is a pun on the films’ catchphrase ‘May the Force be with you’. The day is celebrated with hashtags like #MayThe4th and #MayTheFourthBeWithYou, embellished with images of lightsabers. Lightsaber and Jedi are entries in the Macmillan Dictionary Open Dictionary; you can submit your own entries here.


Obi-Wan even gave Luke a gift from his father: Anakin Skywalker’s blue-bladed lightsaber.”
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Related words

Jedi, starship, android, teleport

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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