Definition of sword of state in English:

sword of state


  • The sword carried in front of a sovereign on state occasions.

    • ‘The roof is ornamented with three cherubs, representing England, Scotland and Ireland, supporting the royal crown and holding the sceptre, sword of state and ensign of knighthood.’
    • ‘Two swords of justice and a sword of mercy date from the early 17th cent.: a fourth sword, the sword of state, was made in 1678.’
    • ‘Of the swords of state borne before the Queen, the chief, Curtana - the short, blunt sword of mercy - was carried by the Earl of Derby, who had carried it at Mary's coronation.’
    • ‘It was no prince's plaything, no sword of state.’
    • ‘She first greeted the Lord Mayor, Alderman Eric Keld, who surrendered the city's sword of state to her in accordance with tradition.’