swagger

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

swagger

noun
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

swagger

adjective

Definition of swagger (Entry 3 of 3)

: marked by elegance or showiness : posh

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from swagger

Verb

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

Synonyms for swagger

Synonyms: Verb

blow, boast, brag, bull [slang], crow, gasconade, vapor, vaunt

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Stephanie Horton stars as tempestuous Kate, opposite Christopher Scott as swaggering Petruchio. Don Maines, Houston Chronicle, "Dobie presents Shakespeare — Wild West style," 4 Sep. 2019 There’s something about plaid pants — collegiate yet cool, nerdy yet swaggering, prim yet slightly punky. Sharon Graubard, courant.com, "Fashion report: Cool classics for fall," 15 Aug. 2019 Mr Taylor, a swaggering former navy SEAL with an incandescent smile, was swept from office in 2018 after a single term by an anti-Trump tsunami. J.s. | Richmond, The Economist, "Senator Mark Warner of Virginia appears to be heading for a third term," 1 Aug. 2019 And yet there was never a sense of some behemoth swaggering to victory. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "Brazil Shows Character, Quality in Winning Copa America, Restoring Faith," 7 July 2019 In such moments, Howland records the way Chicagoans actually speak: the casual diction, the swaggering tone, the musical mistakes. Abigail Deutsch, Harper's magazine, "Bette on the Blues," 22 July 2019 Into which world swaggers one Marion Lee Thompson, who then does what only Thompson can do. Mark Mahaney, Smithsonian, "Danny Thompson’s Blazing Nitromethane-Fueled Pursuit of Racing Glory," 10 July 2019 Their swaggering first-round performance leaves two ill-prepared boys open-mouthed like fish. The Economist, "Debating contests teach Chinese students an argument has two sides," 15 June 2019 That looks prescient now, with swaggering space barons like Elon Musk... Tom Shippey, WSJ, "Science Fiction: The New Off-World Economy," 17 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Few could pull off LED -laced jumpsuits, or double-dutch braids but Elliott did so with swagger and aplomb. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "On the VMAs Stage, Missy Elliott Proved She's Still the Queen," 27 Aug. 2019 Booster is charismatic, full of swagger and sensitivity, and his presence reverberates. New York Times, "The Comedians Challenging Stereotypes About Asian-American Masculinity," 26 Aug. 2019 But in these stories, swagger and savvy were what counted most. Rachel Monroe, The Atlantic, "The True-Crime Writer in Cellblock B4," 16 July 2019 With overpowering skill and ability, with swagger and charisma, and with more than a little controversy, the US Women’s National Team brought a fourth World Cup trophy home from France. Mark Goodman, The Denver Post, "Backpass: Is there a path to pro women’s soccer in Colorado?," 12 July 2019 Making street racing safer was his focus, but Big Willie’s swagger and charm seemed made for Hollywood. Daniel Miller, latimes.com, "Man and myth: Uncovering the legend of Big Willie Robinson," 9 July 2019 After all, the character’s swagger and unflappable cool—and Jackson’s, for that matter—is the stuff that builds Hollywood legends. Eric Adams, Popular Mechanics, "How 'Shaft' Brought the 1971 Chevy Chevelle SS Into 2019," 14 June 2019 There’s a different swagger about the defense, a different energy. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "‘DJ loves football’: Daniels wants to be difference-maker in South Alabama secondary," 19 Aug. 2019 The catfights, overacting and Berry's swagger in a skimpy, tight, leather outfit that would be right at home at a Hookers Ball make for campy fun. Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Catwoman': THR's 2004 Review," 23 July 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of swagger

Verb

circa 1596, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

1725, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1879, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for swagger

Verb, Noun, and Adjective

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about swagger

Dictionary Entries near swagger

swage bolt

swager

swage-set

swagger

swagger stick

swaggie

swagman

Statistics for swagger

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for swagger

The first known use of swagger was circa 1596

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for swagger

swagger

verb

English Language Learners Definition of swagger

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

swagger

noun

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

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

swagger

verb
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

swagger

noun

Kids Definition of swagger (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or instance of walking with a proud strut

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on swagger

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with swagger

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for swagger

Spanish Central: Translation of swagger

Nglish: Translation of swagger for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of swagger for Arabic Speakers

Comments on swagger

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

concealment of treason or felony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!