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King Arthur's sword, c.1300, from Old French Escalibor, corruption of Caliburn, in Geoffrey of Monmouth (c.1140) Caliburnus, apparently from Welsh Caledvwlch probably a variant of the legendary Irish sword name Caladbolg which may be literally "hard-belly," i.e. "voracious." For first element, see callus; for second, see belly (n.).
The sword of King Arthur. In one version of the legends of Arthur, he proved his right to rule by pulling Excalibur out of a stone. In another version, he received Excalibur from a maiden, the Lady of the Lake, to whom he returned it at the end of his life.
in Arthurian legend, King Arthur's sword. As a boy, Arthur alone was able to draw the sword out of a stone in which it had been magically fixed. This account is contained in Sir Thomas Malory's 15th-century prose rendering of the Arthurian legend, but another story in the same work suggests that it was given to Arthur by the Lady of the Lake and that, when the king lay mortally wounded after his last battle, he ordered the faithful Sir Bedivere to go to the water and throw the sword into it. An arm rose to catch it, brandished Excalibur three times, and then disappeared.