\ ˈswäp How to pronounce swap (audio) \
swapped; swapping

Definition of swap

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to give in trade : barter
2 : to take turns in telling swap stories

intransitive verb

: to make an exchange



Definition of swap (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act, instance, or process of exchanging one thing for another

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Other Words from swap


swapper noun

Examples of swap in a Sentence

Verb He swapped his cupcake for a candy bar. I swapped seats with my sister so she could see the stage better. I liked her blue notebook and she liked my red one, so we swapped. Noun They made the swap in secret. we made a swap: I'll do the dishes tonight and she'll do them for me tomorrow
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Signs of distress picked up on Friday, March 20, when the cost to swap New York futures and spot physical gold in London -- the world’s biggest market -- rose to about $2. Joe Deaux, Bloomberg.com, "The Wild Hunt for 100-Ounce Gold Bars," 10 May 2020 Avoiding noxious gasoline, this cordless chainsaw comes with a G-Max 40V rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can be swapped and shared with other Greenworks yard work tools. Popular Science, "Great chainsaws for every job, from trims to demolitions," 15 Apr. 2020 Gemballa upgraded the suspension to ace-style coil-over units, swapped in lighter wheels, and upgraded the infotainment system. Mihir Maddireddy, Car and Driver, "Porsche-Based Gemballa Mirage GT Crashes Spectacularly All Over NYC," 7 Apr. 2020 Officials decided to swap out the carpet for concrete floor, and painted white boxes six feet apart from one another for homeless people to sleep in. Alicia Lee, CNN, "Las Vegas officials create makeshift homeless shelter in a parking lot," 30 Mar. 2020 NurseGrid enables nurses at a health care provider to manage and share schedules to swap shifts and coordinate other work. Mike Rogoway | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Portland startup NurseGrid sells for $25 million," 10 Mar. 2020 The club is about breweriana - all things beer-related: Collectors and vendors will display, swap and sell cans, bottles, bottlecaps, trays, signs, coasters, tap handles, openers and more. Marc Bona, cleveland, "BrewDog dinner, Platform at Fleming’s, Orval Day, more - beer calendar," 9 Mar. 2020 Minimalist ribbed can be effortlessly taken into the warmer months: Just swap a tired pair of for and leave the coat at home. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "Give Your Most Reliable Winter Dresses a Second Life This Spring," 24 Feb. 2020 Cassidy made an adjustment, swapping out Jake DeBrusk (net front) for Brad Marchand, and using Krejci in Marchand’s old half-wall spot. Matt Porter, BostonGlobe.com, "Bruins start Western Swing on right note with David Pastrnak’s winning OT goal in Edmonton," 20 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Select three Loft garments at a time and get unlimited box swaps for $65 per month. Elizabeth Wolfe, NBC News, "Clothing subscription boxes and sustainability: What to know," 11 May 2020 DeAndre Hopkins was shipped to the Cardinals for running back David Johnson, a second-round pick and what was basically a swap of fourth-round picks. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals of 2020 could be the Cleveland Browns of 2019, at least in terms of hype," 30 Mar. 2020 There was also a classroom reading swap, where older students came down to the primary grade classrooms to share their love of reading with their schoolmates. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, "North Royalton’s first-ever brewery is open for business: Talk of the Towns," 3 Mar. 2020 Praise is a hard swap for profit, and one most apparel makers feel no need to make. Cintra Wilson, The New York Review of Books, "Waste Not, Shop Not," 11 Feb. 2020 Bowyer and Aric Almirola opened the day with an announcement from Stewart-Haas on a crew chief swap for next year, while Brad Keselowski remained in North Carolina with his family following the birth of his second daughter. Jenna Fryer, chicagotribune.com, "NASCAR goes back to its roots with a huge Nashville blowout," 5 Dec. 2019 If Tamarac commissioners were to reject the proposal, the county would then need to find another city willing to do a swap for the West Lake Park land. Larry Barszewski, sun-sentinel.com, "City-county feud could slow 911 response improvements in south Broward," 10 Sep. 2019 The company has floated a debt-for-equity swap in a bid to meet the terms of bailout funds from Norway’s government. Angus Whitley, Bloomberg.com, "Denied a Bailout, Virgin Australia a Warning for Other Airlines," 5 May 2020 In San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood, a fruit swap is connecting neighbors and feeding the community. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Californians’ line in the sand," 1 May 2020

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1625, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for swap


Middle English swappen to strike; from the practice of striking hands in closing a business deal

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Time Traveler for swap

Time Traveler

The first known use of swap was in the 14th century

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Statistics for swap

Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Swap.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swap. Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for swap



Financial Definition of swap

What It Is

A swap is an agreement between two parties to exchange a series of future cash flows.

How It Works

Swaps are financial agreements to exchange cash flows. Swaps can be based on interest rates, stock indices, foreign currency exchange rates and even commodities prices.

Let's walk through an example of a plain vanilla swap, which is simply an interest rate swap in which one party pays a fixed interest rate and the other pays a floating interest rate.

The party paying the floating rate "leg" of the swap believes that interest rates will go down. If they do, the party's interest payments will go down as well.

The party paying the fixed rate "leg" of the swap doesn't want to take the chance that rates will increase, so they lock in their interest payments with a fixed rate.

Company XYZ issues $10 million in 15-year corporate bonds with a variable interest rate of LIBOR + 150 basis points. LIBOR is currently 3%, so Company XYZ pays bondholders 4.5%.

After selling the bonds, an analyst at Company XYZ decides there's reason to believe LIBOR will increase in the near term. Company XYZ doesn't want to be exposed to an increase in LIBOR, so it enters into a swap agreement with Investor ABC.

Company XYZ agrees to pay Investor ABC 4.58% on $10,000,000 each year for 15 years. Investor ABC agrees to pay Company XYZ LIBOR + 1.5% on $10,000,000 per year for 15 years.  Note that the floating rate payments that XYZ receives from ABC will always match the payments they need to make to their bondholders.

Investor ABC thinks that interest rates are going to go down. He is willing to accept fixed rates from Company XYZ

To do this, Company XYZ structures a swap of the future interest payments with an investor willing to buy the stream of interest payments at this variable rate and pay a fixed amount for each period.  At the time of the swap, the amount to be paid over the life of the debt is the same.

The investor is betting that the variable interest rate will go down, lowering his or her interest cost, but the interest payments from Company XYZ will be the same, allowing a gain (i.e. arbitrage) on the difference.

Why It Matters

Interest rate swaps have been one of the most successful derivatives ever introduced. They are widely used by corporations, financial institutions and governments.

According to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the notional principal of over-the-counter derivatives market was an astounding $615 trillion in the second half of 2009. Of that amount, swaps represented over $349 trillion of the total.

Source: Investing Answers


How to pronounce swap (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of swap

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to give something to someone and receive something in return : to trade or exchange (things)
: to replace (something) with something else



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

: an act of giving or taking one thing in return for another thing : a trade or exchange


\ ˈswäp How to pronounce swap (audio) \
swapped; swapping

Kids Definition of swap

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to give in exchange : make an exchange : trade



Kids Definition of swap (Entry 2 of 2)

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\ ˈswäp \

Legal Definition of swap

1 : an exchange of securities
2 : a derivative contract in which two parties (as corporations) agree to exchange rates especially relating to debt

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More from Merriam-Webster on swap

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for swap

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with swap

Spanish Central: Translation of swap

Nglish: Translation of swap for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of swap for Arabic Speakers

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