noun \ˈswän\

: a large usually white bird that lives on or near water and that has a very long and graceful neck

plural swans

Full Definition of SWAN

plural also swan :  any of various large heavy-bodied long-necked mostly pure white aquatic birds (family Anatidae, especially genus Cygnus) that have webbed feet and are related to but larger than the geese
:  one that resembles or is likened to a swan
capitalized :  the constellation Cygnus

Illustration of SWAN

Origin of SWAN

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Middle High German swan and perhaps to Latin sonus sound — more at sound
First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with SWAN


intransitive verb

Definition of SWAN

:  to wander aimlessly or idly :  dally

First Known Use of SWAN



intransitive verb

Definition of SWAN

:  declare, swear

Origin of SWAN

perhaps euphemism for swear
First Known Use: 1784


geographical name \ˈswän\

Definition of SWAN

river ab 240 miles (386 kilometers) SW Western Australia flowing W into Indian Ocean

Variants of SWAN

Swan or in its upper course Av·on \ˈa-vən\


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Mute swan (Cygnus olor) and cygnet—Arthur W. Ambler—The National Audubon Society Collection/Photo Researchers

Long-necked, heavy-bodied, big-footed waterfowl (genus Cygnus, family Anatidae). Among waterfowl, swans are the largest and fastest, both swimming and flying; at about 50 lbs (23 kg), the mute swan (C. olor) is the heaviest flying bird. Swans dabble in shallows for aquatic plants. Five all-white, black-legged species live in the Northern Hemisphere; a black and a black-necked species live in the Southern Hemisphere. Males (cobs) and females (pens) look alike. Swans mate for life. The cob keeps guard while the pen incubates, on average, six eggs on a heap of vegetation; the young (cygnets) are tended for several months. Their graceful form when swimming has made swans emblems of beauty for centuries.


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