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 On Tuesday, Cronin's group played with a swagger and a toughness that had a bulldozing effect in the first half. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Elite Eight takeaways from men's NCAA Tournament: Can Final Four-bound Gonzaga go undefeated?," 31 Mar. 2021 He's done particularly well in France, like Jerry Lewis with more swagger. Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic, "'I am so humbled by the love': Arizona musicians lift up a local icon as he battles cancer," 12 Mar. 2021 Boogie pays frequent visits to the outdoor court where Monk reigns with absolute swagger, watching, taking mental notes. Bill Goodykoontz, Detroit Free Press, "Rapper’s death casts shadow over basketball film ‘Boogie’," 6 Mar. 2021 On the page, Raya was originally written to be more nonverbally stoic, then her character became quippy, bristling with swagger. Washington Post, "Kelly Marie Tran’s journey to becoming a fighting Disney princess: ‘It feels like an absolute miracle’," 5 Mar. 2021 Snipes is hilarious as General Izzi, an imperious blowhard who peacocks into every room with jubilantly exaggerated swagger. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, "Coming 2 America is a fun trip back in time: Review," 4 Mar. 2021 And lately, Brown has been exuding confidence, playing with swagger and joy. Mike Mazzeo, Forbes, "Bruce Brown Has Emerged As Unsung Hero For Brooklyn Nets," 2 Mar. 2021 Rome is grand on the grandest scale, with the swagger of an imperial capital and the papal seat, and sometimes just of its own bloated sense of self. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Joy of Seeing Rome Anew," 22 Mar. 2021 The swagger is back, the momentum theirs, the glory burbling back to the surface for the program with the most national titles in the history of college basketball. Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: LeBron-less Lakers lose to Phoenix," 22 Mar. 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 10 Apr. 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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