Excalibur Definition

King Arthur's sword: in one version of the legend, he draws it out of a stone; in another, it is given to him by the Lady of the Lake.
Webster's New World

A legendary sword of King Arthur, attributed with magical properties.


Origin of Excalibur

  • Middle English Excalaber, from Old French Escalibor, Escaliborc, prothetic form of Calliborc, alteration of Calibourne, from Medieval Latin Caliburnus (Geoffrey of Monmouth, ca. 1136), influenced by calibs ‘steel’ (for chalybs), alteration of Old Welsh *Caledbulch (cf. modern Caledfwlch), compound of caled ‘hard’ and bwlch ‘cleft, crack’. Related to the Irish legendary sword Caladbolg, literally ‘hard-belly’, i.e. ‘voracious’.

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English alteration (perhaps influenced by Latin chalybs steel) of Medieval Latin Caliburnus from Middle Welsh Caletuwlch or Middle Irish Caladbolg a legendary sword

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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