Advance: To move forward on the piste

Allez: The French word for "go."  This is the command for fencers to begin fencing.

Attack: A movement or series of movements by which a fencer tries to score a point against his opponent

Balestra: A short jump toward the opponent, often combined with a lunge or fleche

Beat: A sharp tap on the opponent's blade to initiate attack or threat of attack

Blade: The steel part of the weapon extending from the guard

Bout: Combat between two fencers in competition. When score is not kept, friendly combat between two fencers is referred to as an assault.

Counter-parry: A defensive movement by which the fencer goes around the opponent's blade and moves the opponent's blade away

Counter-riposte: Offensive action made by a fencer who has parried a riposte

Disengagement: A break of contact between fencers' blades made by passing the blade under the opponent's

Engagement: Contact of the weapon blades

En garde: The position taken before a bout begins or after a break in action

Feint: A false attack intended to get a reaction from the opposing fencer which will open the competitor up to a genuine attack

FIE: The acronym for fencing's international governing body (Federation Internationale d'Escrime, in French)

Fleche: A short running attack toward the opponent

Guard: A part of the weapon between the blade and handle which protects the hand

In-line position: A specific position in which the fencer's sword arm is kept straight and the point of the weapon continually threatens the opponent's valid target

Lunge: A common fencing attack in which a competitor advances on the opponent by moving a front leg forward, while the back leg remains stationary and straightens out

Match: The aggregate of the bouts fought between the fencers of two different teams is called a match. (Note: In French, the word for this is "rencontre," which means "encounter." The French use the word "match" as "bout" is used in English.)

Parry: A defensive action in which a fencer blocks the opponent's blade

Piste: The French term for the field of play on which bouts are contested. Also called the "strip," it is made of metallic mesh and measures 14 meters long (46 feet) by 1.5 meters wide (4 feet, 10 inches).

Pret: The French word for "Ready," precedes "Allez" as the command to fence

Recover: To return to the en garde position following a lunge

Redoublement: A new action made against an opponent who has parried without a riposte or who has merely avoided the first action by retreating or dodging

Remise: Attacking again immediately after the opponent parries an initial attack

Riposte: A defender's counterattack after parrying

Reprise: Recovery into the en garde position followed by an attack

Thrust: The quick extension of the sword blade without foot movement

USFA: United States Fencing Association, the official governing body for amateur fencing activities in the United States, recognized by the FIE and the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC).