swain

noun \ ˈswān \

Definition of swain

1 : rustic, peasant; specifically : shepherd
2 : a male admirer or suitor

swainish

play \ˈswā-nish\ adjective

swainishness

noun

Examples of swain in a Sentence

  1. a fair maiden and her swain

  2. a romanticized portrait of a bygone era of beauteous Southern belles and their gallant swains

Recent Examples of swain from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of swain

Middle English swein boy, servant, from Old Norse sveinn; akin to Old English swān swain, Latin suus one's own — more at suicide

SWAIN Defined for English Language Learners

swain

noun

Definition of swain for English Language Learners

  • : a man who is a woman's lover


Learn More about swain


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up swain? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

of or relating to dancing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!