noun (1)
\ ˈswag How to pronounce swag (audio) \

Definition of swag

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 informal

a : 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
b : 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
c : promotional goods or items … Ravens gear was selling better than O's swag. I bought one of the cartoon-bird caps …— David Simon
d : 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
e : 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
2a : 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
b : 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
3 : 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
4 chiefly Australia : a pack of personal belongings … I'd be the last to strike my tent and sling my swag.— Ambrose Bierce


noun (2)

Definition of swag (Entry 2 of 3)

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 swag— Anton 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


swagged; swagging

Definition of swag (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

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

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Synonyms for swag

Synonyms: Noun (1)

booty, loot, pillage, plunder, spoil

Synonyms: Verb

droop, flag, hang, loll, sag, wilt

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Examples of swag in a Sentence

Noun (1)

The robbers divided the swag. robbed a bank and hid the swag under the floorboards


the days of endless worrying had taken their toll, and the old woman's face swagged with exhaustion
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Leslie has the swag and screen presence to pull it off. David Betancourt, Washington Post, "‘Titans’ isn’t the best superhero show out there — but Season 2 is definitely worth watching," 6 Sep. 2019 There will also be interactive experiences, fashion, fitness, local artists, raffles and swag bags. Andrea Leinfelder, Houston Chronicle, "Pop-up coworking space for women plans to open permanent location," 12 Sep. 2019 While the crowd eagerly welcomed the skin and makeup goodies and the experiences, many ladies came already dripping in the swag of unique eye color trends, dewy faces, and cute curls. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "Beauty Looks From The Women Who Attended SEPHORiA House Of Beauty," 9 Sep. 2019 More: Michigan basketball's miracle win steeped in swag, ended in swish Robinson was on the bench after fouling out against Houston, when Jordan Poole hit a miraculous 3-pointer. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball: Duncan Robinson's defense put to test in Sweet 16," 22 Mar. 2018 The Washington Mystics’ box of promotional swag even included a protective face mask, as Elena Delle Donne, a favorite for Most Valuable Player, has worn one since breaking her nose in early July. Alexa Philippou, courant.com, "Lynx put together gift box promoting Napheesa Collier as WNBA Rookie of the Year bid," 31 Aug. 2019 His performance was full of swag, starting with Legend's electric-blue tuxedo, complete with tails -- a fitting ensemble for the full-orchestra set. Katie Atkinson, Billboard, "John Legend Dances With Luna & Makes a Powerful Statement With Common at Hollywood Bowl Concert," 16 June 2019 Tickets for the event, which included a large box loaded with pastries and swag, went for $50. Los Angeles Times, "Pastry chefs are raising thousands for charities like Planned Parenthood," 26 Aug. 2019 For these parties, the sponsoring app covers production costs and offers branded swag, in addition to plastering the party space (typically a frat house) with its unmistakable logo. Terry Nguyen, Vox, "Frats are throwing parties with Tinder and Bumble. This isn’t exactly new.," 20 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The 100-year-old maroon velvet rope still swags alongside the curving stairs. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. were guests in $2.1M Detroit mansion," 10 July 2019 Souvenirs from his time include a fortune worth of silk window treatments — draped, swagged, fringed, puddled or ballooned — that reach past 20 feet tall in the living room. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "$2.35M Bloomfield Hills home comes with 2 kitchens and a tree house," 29 June 2019 In Rossa, Buren’s stripes wrap the soft edges of the building, the two patterns of color meeting in a swagging line around the middle. Shonquis Moreno, Curbed, "‘If you take out the art, the building itself can’t stand’," 6 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'swag.' 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 swag

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

History and Etymology for swag

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

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Statistics for swag

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for swag

The first known use of swag was in 1530

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More from Merriam-Webster on swag

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with swag

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for swag

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about swag

Comments on swag

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suitable to be imparted to the public

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