Definition of put to the sword in English:

put to the sword


  • Kill, especially in war.

    • ‘Before this, except for a few wealthy or powerful individuals worth ransoming, captured soldiers could be, and very often were, put to the sword.’
    • ‘When the ancient Romans were besieging Carthage, they put it about that those citizens who gave them themselves up in advance would not be put to the sword.’
    • ‘History tells us that these knights were wiped out in 1307, when they were arrested to a man on a charge of heresy and put to the sword.’
    • ‘Vasari vividly depicts the Huguenot leader Admiral Coligny being thrown out of an upstairs window, while his followers are put to the sword in the foreground.’
    • ‘Those who took to their heels were followed on horseback by the bloodthirsty troops and put to the sword.’
    • ‘There wasn't all that much of the murderous stuff that took place later in the Thirty Years War, when towns were sacked and people who were not involved in the war were all put to the sword.’
    • ‘A protagonist who has 30,000 civilians put to the sword and sells another 50,000 into slavery after the battle of Tyre wouldn't give him crystal clear heroic qualities, I guess.’
    • ‘After a brief resistance the town was taken by storm and 20,000 men, women and children were put to the sword or burned to death, including hundreds who had packed the cathedral seeking sanctuary.’
    • ‘More than 20,000 people, including 7000 who had taken refuge in the cathedral, were put to the sword or burnt at the stake.’
    • ‘Whole villages were put to the sword, livestock was slaughtered, crops destroyed and famine and disease decimated the survivors.’
    kill, execute, put to death, murder, butcher, slaughter, annihilate, massacre, cut down, mow down
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