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noun (1)

: goods acquired by unlawful means : booty, loot
… the swag from this and other forms of graft was kept hidden …Frederick Lewis Allen
… a pirate's spectral wife, who has roamed the harbor ever since she was left behind to guard his swag.Katharine Whittemore
: valuable articles or goods
One of the premier spots in the area to land home-bar swag is Pub Stuff in Stafford. The store is packed with everything … for homeowners looking to make their bar stand out.Matt Pais
: promotional goods or items
… Ravens gear was selling better than O's swag. I bought one of the cartoon-bird caps …David Simon
: goods given to people who attend or participate in an event
Her handbags … one year were a part of the swag celebrities brought home from the Screen Actors Guild Awards.Karen Martin
: money, lucre
… affirmed that he is now bonded to pay up to $5,000 to any listener who may lose out on swag being offered by another network.Saul Carson
: a decorative strip or chain hanging in a curve between two points : festoon
… transverse swags of carmine floral design and top crown frieze …James Joyce
: a suspended cluster of something (such as evergreen branches)
Garlands of green, with roses interspersed, were in swags and loops about the splendid walls …E. Barrington
: a slow movement back and forth : sway sense 1
… a shudder took the whole structure of the vessel and my body on the bed, too, and the Kentucky Queen yawed to the deep inner swag of the river.Robert Penn Warren
chiefly Australia : a pack of personal belongings
… I'd be the last to strike my tent and sling my swag.Ambrose Bierce


2 of 3

noun (2)

US slang
: bold or brash self-confidence : swagger, cockiness
His theory: "If you want the world to change, you must be the change you want in the world … . It's good to have swag but better to have substance."Briana Barner
On Sunday, hometown faves Derrick Carter and Jamila Woods tear up the Blue stage while Beyonce's little sister, Solange, brings her grown woman swag as the headliner on the Green stage.Mary L. Dratcher
Lewis spoke of "a breezy self confidence," known perhaps today as swagAnton Allahar
I'm not just talking about his cheesy one-liners and the smirk that sometimes comes with them—the way he delivers that line is pure swag.LaToya Ferguson


3 of 3


swagged; swagging

transitive verb

: to adorn with swags
: to arrange (something, such as drapery) in swags

Examples of swag in a Sentence

Noun (1) The robbers divided the swag. robbed a bank and hid the swag under the floorboards Verb the days of endless worrying had taken their toll, and the old woman's face swagged with exhaustion
Recent Examples on the Web
Each purchase will also receive a free 10-piece swag bag filled with surprise goodies from the retailer's best-selling luxury beauty brands. Jennifer Hussein, Allure, 14 Sep. 2023 Advance tickets are available online for $25 and include admission for one person and up to two dogs, a voucher for one beer (for ages 21 and older) in the Triple Play Beer Garden, a T-shirt, a swag bag, and treats for pups and humans. Norma Cavazos, Dallas News, 24 Aug. 2023 Sweetgreen will be giving away swag, including a tote that can be filled with produce from Seeds Farm, LaClare Creamery, Breadsmith and Riveridge Produce. Cathy Kozlowicz, Journal Sentinel, 15 Aug. 2023 Along with a means of fundraising, campaign swag can be a creative convoy for spreading candidates’ names or slogans. USA TODAY, 12 Aug. 2023 Those cupcakes better be tie-dye, too. Don't forget the swag. Leena Kim, Town & Country, 18 July 2023 The teaser that Villaseñor shared on Instagram is reminiscent of the swag and wisdom that the ambiance of the barbershop has. Kerane Marcellus, Essence, 21 Aug. 2023 Their groovy camp chair makes for a lightweight, easy setup and will give your campsite some serious swag. Krista Simmons, Sunset Magazine, 17 Aug. 2023 The memorial events at New York City-based Going Out in Style can sometimes include art installations, champagne towers and swag bags more typically seen at red carpet events. Irina Gonzalez, Good Housekeeping, 15 Aug. 2023
Lunch and dinner dine-in guests also will get complimentary Cosmik Fries and swag while supplies last. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 5 Feb. 2023 Offsite developed a software platform to help with sourcing, contracting, and planning everything from location to swag. Constance Dierickx, Forbes, 24 Jan. 2023 Payne is trying to rediscover that swag a right foot strain has toned down. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 27 Dec. 2022 Another way to deal with low ceilings is to swag a light fixture from the ceiling. Angela Belt, House Beautiful, 16 Dec. 2022 Cam’s $400 hotel sweats (because his airline lost his luggage) are by British brand Orlebar Brown, capturing the necessary quality and swag that Bovaird then had embroidered. Emma Fraser, Town & Country, 4 Dec. 2022 On a wall with multiple windows, hang your garland at the corners of the bank of windows (letting the greenery trail toward the floor) and swag it in the middle. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 Nov. 2022 Those watching the race at home, or at the track, can scan the code and win prizes such as tickets to future races or swag such as T-shirts, hats, floor mats, racing flags, and koozies. Greg Engle, Forbes, 17 Apr. 2021 Then head over to Rival, the award-winning boutique hotel has a retro Art Deco swag that’s inviting and super chic. Essence, 11 June 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'swag.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (2)

short for swagger entry 2


perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian svagga to sway, rock; akin to Middle Low German swacken to rock

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1660, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Noun (2)

2003, in the meaning defined above


1530, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of swag was in 1530

Dictionary Entries Near swag

Cite this Entry

“Swag.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swag. Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: goods acquired by unlawful means

More from Merriam-Webster on swag

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