swag·​ger | \ ˈswa-gər How to pronounce swagger (audio) \
swaggered; swaggering\ ˈswa-​g(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce swagger (audio) \

Definition of swagger

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to conduct oneself in an arrogant or superciliously pompous manner especially : to walk with an air of overbearing self-confidence
2 : boast, brag

transitive verb

: to force by argument or threat : bully


plural swaggers

Definition of swagger (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : an arrogantly self-confident way of walking : an act or instance of swaggering
b : arrogant or conceitedly self-assured behavior
c : ostentatious display or bravado
2 : bold or brash self-confidence "Taxi" opens with an argument over capital punishment between a progressive female teacher and a condescending loudmouth who's all macho swagger.— Sheri Linden Thierry has the swagger of a man who blew off conventional wisdom and turned out just fine.— Ben O'Donnell



Definition of swagger (Entry 3 of 3)

: marked by elegance or showiness : posh

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Other Words from swagger


swaggerer \ ˈswa-​gər-​ər How to pronounce swagger (audio) \ noun
swaggeringly \ ˈswa-​g(ə-​)riŋ-​lē How to pronounce swagger (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for swagger

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of swagger in a Sentence

Verb 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 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 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 I, too, would swagger if I'd won first place in the bowling tournament. hoping to impress the women at the bar, the young man confidently swaggered across the room Noun 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 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 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 He has a swagger that annoys some of his teammates.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Bo Nix had every reason to swagger into his freshman season at Auburn. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, "Bo Nix lost some of his ‘swag’ last season, but this year ‘feels different’," 14 Sep. 2020 Their bodies firm up and swagger into a ritualistic circle of savagery. Michelle Weber, Longreads, "Rout the Racism From Your Very Bones," 10 Aug. 2020 Any could soon find a confident twentysomething swaggering into their quarterback room. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "18 questions leading into the 2018 NFL draft," 26 Apr. 2018 Jeffrey Dean Morgan shows up to chew some scenery as a swaggering cowboy of a government agent. Katie Walsh, Detroit Free Press, "Review: ‘Rampage’ is big, dumb fun," 12 Apr. 2018 The second-highest rated cable show in July—behind only Game of Thrones—was USA Network's slick, swaggering legal drama Suits. Emma Dibdin, Esquire, "Patrick J. Adams Knows Why Suits Is America's Secret Obsession," 14 Sep. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This cottage is a little bit of Williamsburg style paired with a dash of New England swagger. Southern Living, "Our Randolph Cottage Is the Goldilocks of House Plans," 25 Feb. 2021 Extensive cultural differences aside, Trump respects swagger, flashy displays of wealth, cavalier attitudes toward women, a willingness to go off script and freestyle, and a general sense of don’t-give-a-damn-ness. Keith Spera, NOLA.com, "Maybe New Orleans rapper Lil Wayne's Donald Trump bromance isn't as strange as it seems," 21 Jan. 2021 Still, the arrival of Springer gives them hope, and a whole lot of swagger. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "George Springer gives Blue Jays hope – and one of MLB's best lineups – for years to come," 20 Jan. 2021 And as a football player will dance in the end zone after an exciting touchdown, Brisc players are known – when taking points with an ace or 3 – to slam the card down with a bit of swagger. Laura Johnston, cleveland, "Our favorite card games for holiday fun, from Brisc to Slap," 21 Nov. 2020 It’s not just the time-out-of-time splendor of the St. Anthony hotel or the ice palace grandeur of main bar or the baroque chandeliers and sweeping staircase that gives Rebelle its swagger. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "5 great surf-and-turf, steak and lobster combos at San Antonio restaurants for Valentine's Day: Rebelle, Silo Prime, Bohanan's, J-Prime, Signature," 4 Feb. 2021 On Saturday, Exum’s tenacity and presence helped the Cavs regain their defensive swagger. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers’ Dante Exum accepts J.B. Bickerstaff’s challenge, relishes stopper role," 3 Jan. 2021 Wrapped around the 25-year-old's sultry vocals and her innate DGAF swagger, Future Nostalgia creates a glittery world that easily solidified her star status in the pop sphere. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 25 Best Pop Albums of 2020: Staff Picks," 14 Dec. 2020 Executives are confronting their newfound authority with a mix of swagger and reticence. David Gelles, New York Times, "‘We Need to Stabilize’: Big Business Breaks With Republicans," 15 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'swagger.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of swagger


circa 1596, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1725, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1879, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for swagger

Verb, Noun, and Adjective

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

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Time Traveler for swagger

Time Traveler

The first known use of swagger was circa 1596

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Statistics for swagger

Cite this Entry

“Swagger.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swagger. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for swagger



English Language Learners Definition of swagger

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



English Language Learners Definition of swagger (Entry 2 of 2)

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


swag·​ger | \ ˈswa-gər How to pronounce swagger (audio) \
swaggered; swaggering

Kids Definition of swagger

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to walk with a proud strut



Kids Definition of swagger (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or instance of walking with a proud strut

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