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verb \ˈswiŋ\

Simple Definition of swing

  • : to move backward and forward or from side to side while hanging from something

  • : to move with a smooth, curving motion

  • : to move (your arm, a tool, etc.) with a quick, curving motion especially to try to hit something

Full Definition of swing

swung play \ˈswəŋ\ swing·ing play \ˈswiŋ-iŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to cause to move vigorously through a wide arc or circle <swing an ax>b :  to cause to sway to and froc (1) :  to cause to turn on an axis (2) :  to cause to face or move in another direction <swing the car into a side road>

  3. 2 :  to suspend so as to permit swaying or turning

  4. 3 :  to convey by suspension <cranes swinging cargo into the ship's hold>

  5. 4a (1) :  to influence decisively <swing a lot of votes> (2) :  to bring around by influenceb :  to handle successfully :  manage <wasn't able to swing a new car on his income> <swing a deal>

  6. 5 :  to play or sing (as a melody) in the style of swing music

  7. intransitive verb
  8. 1 :  to move freely to and fro especially in suspension from an overhead support

  9. 2a :  to die by hangingb :  to hang freely from a support

  10. 3 :  to move in or describe a circle or arc:a :  to turn on a hinge or pivotb :  to turn in placec :  to convey oneself by grasping a fixed support <swing aboard the train>

  11. 4a :  to have a steady pulsing rhythmb :  to play or sing with a lively compelling rhythm; specifically :  to play swing music

  12. 5 :  to shift or fluctuate from one condition, form, position, or object of attention or favor to another <swing constantly from optimism to pessimism and back — Sinclair Lewis>

  13. 6a :  to move along rhythmicallyb :  to start up in a smooth vigorous manner <ready to swing into action>

  14. 7 :  to hit or aim at something with a sweeping arm movement

  15. 8a :  to be lively, exciting, and up-to-dateb :  to engage freely in sex

Examples of swing

  1. The sheets swung on the clothesline.

  2. The clock's pendulum stopped swinging.

  3. She sat on the edge of the table, swinging her legs.

  4. The monkeys were swinging from branch to branch high up in the trees.

  5. I swung my suitcase into the backseat of the car.

  6. She sat on the counter and swung her legs over to the other side.

  7. She swung the door open.

  8. Be careful how you swing that ax.

  9. She swung the bat but missed the ball.

  10. She swung her purse at me.

Origin of swing

Middle English, to beat, fling, hurl, rush, from Old English swingan to beat, fling oneself, rush; akin to Old High German swingan to fling, rush

First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of swing

swing, wave, flourish, brandish, thrash mean to wield or cause to move to and fro or up and down. swing implies regular or uniform movement <swing the rope back and forth>. wave usually implies smooth or continuous motion <waving the flag>. flourish suggests vigorous, ostentatious, graceful movement <flourished the winning lottery ticket>. brandish implies threatening or menacing motion <brandishing a knife>. thrash suggests vigorous, abrupt, violent movement <an infant thrashing his arms about>.swing, sway, oscillate, vibrate, fluctuate, waver, undulate mean to move from one direction to its opposite. swing implies a movement of something attached at one end or one side <the door suddenly swung open>. sway implies a slow swinging or teetering movement <trees swaying in the breeze>. oscillate stresses a usually regular alternation of direction <an oscillating fan>. vibrate suggests the rapid oscillation of an elastic body under stress or impact <the vibrating strings of a piano>. fluctuate suggests constant irregular changes of level, intensity, or value <fluctuating interest rates>. waver stresses irregular motion suggestive of reeling or tottering <the exhausted runner wavered before collapsing>. undulate suggests a gentle wavelike motion <an undulating sea of grass>.




Simple Definition of swing

  • : an act of moving something with a quick, sweeping motion : an act of swinging a bat, fist, etc.

  • : the movement of something that swings backward and forward or from side to side

  • : a usually sudden change from one state or condition to another

Full Definition of swing

  1. 1 :  an act or instance of swinging :  swinging movement: asa (1) :  a stroke or blow delivered with a sweeping arm movement <a batter with a powerful swing> (2) :  a sweeping or rhythmic movement of the body or a bodily part (3) :  a dance figure in which two dancers revolve with joined arms or hands (4) :  jazz dancing in moderate tempo with a lilting syncopationb (1) :  the regular movement of a freely suspended object (as a pendulum) along an arc and back (2) :  back and forth sweep <the swing of the tides>c (1) :  steady pulsing rhythm (as in poetry or music) (2) :  a steady vigorous movement characterizing an activity or creative workd (1) :  a trend toward a high or low point in a fluctuating cycle (as of business activity) (2) :  an often periodic shift from one condition, form, position, or object of attention or favor to another

  2. 2a :  liberty of actionb (1) :  the driving power of something swung or hurled (2) :  steady vigorous advance :  driving speed <a train approaching at full swing>

  3. 3 :  the progression of an activity, process, or phase of existence <the work is in full swing>

  4. 4 :  the arc or range through which something swings

  5. 5 :  something that swings freely from or on a support; especially :  a seat suspended by a rope or chains for swinging to and fro on for pleasure

  6. 6a :  a curving course or outlineb :  a course from and back to a point :  a circular tour

  7. 7 :  jazz that is played (as by a big band) with a steady beat and that uses the harmonic structures of popular songs and the blues as a basis for improvisations and arrangements

  8. 8 :  a short pass in football thrown to a back running to the outside

Examples of swing

  1. One swing of the hammer was all it took to drive the nail through the board.

  2. the swing of a pendulum

  3. upward swings in the stock market

  4. The kids were playing on the swings.

  5. We sat on the porch swing and watched the neighbors.

14th Century

First Known Use of swing

14th century

Other Dance Terms




Simple Definition of swing

  • : of or relating to the style of jazz music called swing

  • : not certain to vote for a particular candidate or party in an election and therefore often able to decide the result of the election

Full Definition of swing

  1. 1 :  of or relating to musical swing <a swing band> <swing music> <swing dancing>

  2. 2 :  that may swing often decisively either way on an issue or in an election <swing voters> <a swing state>


First Known Use of swing


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February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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