type of single-edged sword, 1670s, from French sabre "heavy, curved sword" (17c.), alteration of sable (1630s), from German Sabel, Säbel, probably ultimately from Hungarian szablya "saber," literally "tool to cut with," from szabni "to cut."
The Balto-Slavic words (Russian sablya, Polish szabla "sword, saber," Lithuanian šoblė) perhaps also are from German. Italian sciabla seems to be directly from Hungarian. Saber-rattling "militarism" is attested from 1922. Saber-toothed cat (originally tiger) is attested from 1849.