Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

swagger

play
verb swag·ger \ˈswa-gər\

Simple Definition of swagger

  • : to walk in a very confident way : to walk with a swagger

Full Definition of swagger

swag·geredswag·ger·ing play \-g(ə-)riŋ\

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to conduct oneself in an arrogant or superciliously pompous manner; especially :  to walk with an air of overbearing self-confidence

  3. 2 :  boast, brag

  4. transitive verb
  5. :  to force by argument or threat :  bully

swag·ger·er play \-gər-ər\ noun
swag·ger·ing·ly play \-g(ə-)riŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of swagger

  1. He copped a plea, ratted out a dozen no-neck pals and swaggered off to prison, leaving South Beach temporarily without a pied piper. —Carl Hiaasen, New York Times Book Review, 22 Feb. 2009

  2. So it is a fight rather than an argument, really—a fight over complexity versus ease, a fight that mostly mimics gang war, which is not so much a vigorous instance of manly bloodletting (though it is that too) as a dustup over prestige: who has the prior right to swagger in public. —Cynthia Ozick, Harper's, April 2007

  3. Sometimes he sauntered through the streets of the old town. He looked with awe at the students of the corps, their cheeks gashed and red, who swaggered about in their coloured caps. —W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage, 1915

  4. <I, too, would swagger if I'd won first place in the bowling tournament.>

  5. <hoping to impress the women at the bar, the young man confidently swaggered across the room>



Origin of swagger

probably from 1swag + -er (as in chatter)


First Known Use: circa 1596


2

swagger

play
noun swag·ger \ˈswa-gər\

Simple Definition of swagger

  • : a way of walking or behaving that shows you have a lot of confidence

Full Definition of swagger

  1. 1a :  an arrogantly self-confident way of walking :  an act or instance of swaggering b :  arrogant or conceitedly self-assured behaviorc :  ostentatious display or bravado

  2. 2 :  a self-confident outlook :  cockiness

Examples of swagger

  1. He limps with a noticeable swagger, flamboyantly waving his cane, semi-ironically mimicking the rap stars who are now his peers. —Matt Diehl, Spin, September 2008

  2. He greeted me with the swagger he's learned since he became a fighter pilot, smiling, his blue eyes glowing. —Matthew Klam, Harper's, February 1999

  3. What a hero Tom was become, now! He did not go skipping and prancing, but moved with a dignified swagger as became a pirate who felt that the public eye was on him. —Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer, 1876

  4. He has a swagger that annoys some of his teammates.



Origin of swagger

(see 1swagger)


First Known Use: 1725


3

swagger

play
adjective swag·ger \ˈswa-gər\

Definition of swagger

  1. :  marked by elegance or showiness :  posh



Origin of swagger

(see 1swagger)


First Known Use: 1879



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up swagger? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 9, 2016

marked by high spirits and laughter

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

duvet spindrift pince-nez kittly-benders
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ