swan

noun
\ ˈswän How to pronounce swan (audio) \
plural swans

Definition of swan

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 plural also swan : any of various large heavy-bodied long-necked mostly pure white aquatic birds (family Anatidae, especially genus Cygnus) that have webbed feet and are related to but larger than the geese
2 : one that resembles or is likened to a swan
3 capitalized : the constellation Cygnus
swanned; swanning

Definition of swan (Entry 2 of 4)

intransitive verb

: to wander aimlessly or idly : dally
swanned; swanning

Definition of swan (Entry 3 of 4)

Swan

geographical name
\ ˈswän How to pronounce Swan (audio) \
variants: or in its upper course Avon \ ˈa-​vən How to pronounce Avon (audio) \

Definition of Swan (Entry 4 of 4)

river about 240 miles (386 kilometers) long in southwestern Western Australia flowing west into the Indian Ocean

Illustration of swan

Illustration of swan

Noun

swan 1

In the meaning defined above

First Known Use of swan

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

1942, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

1784, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for swan

Noun

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Middle High German swan and perhaps to Latin sonus sound — more at sound entry 1

Verb (2)

perhaps euphemism for swear

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Time Traveler for swan

The first known use of swan was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for swan

swan

noun
How to pronounce Swan (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of swan

: a large usually white bird that lives on or near water and that has a very long and graceful neck

swan

noun
\ ˈswän How to pronounce swan (audio) \

Kids Definition of swan

: a usually white waterbird that has a long neck and large body and is related to but larger than the goose

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More from Merriam-Webster on swan

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with swan

Spanish Central: Translation of swan

Nglish: Translation of swan for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of swan for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about swan

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not being in agreement or harmony

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