\ ˈswät How to pronounce swat (audio) \
swatted; swatting

Definition of swat

 (Entry 1 of 5)

transitive verb

: to hit with a sharp slapping blow usually with an instrument (such as a bat or flyswatter) swatted the ball for a home run

Definition of swat (Entry 2 of 5)

1 : a powerful or crushing blow
2 : a long hit in baseball especially : home run
swatted; swatting; swats

Definition of swat (Entry 3 of 5)

: to make a false report of an ongoing serious crime in order to elicit a response from law enforcement (such as the dispatch of a SWAT unit) Special FBI Agent John Bennett of San Francisco said in a statement to CBS, that those who swat want to see "a tactical response" – specifically, they "want to see armed officers, they want to see a bomb, dogs, helicopters – that's all part of the fun."— Bryn Lovitt The congresswoman had just been "swatted," or subjected to a malicious act in which a person hides their identity, then calls the cops and reports a violent crime at the address of whomever they're targeting.— Ryan Grenoble


noun (2), often attributive
\ ˈswät How to pronounce SWAT (audio) \

Definition of SWAT (Entry 4 of 5)

: a police or military unit specially trained and equipped to handle unusually hazardous situations or missions


geographical name
\ ˈswät How to pronounce Swat (audio) \

Definition of Swat (Entry 5 of 5)

river 400 miles (644 kilometers) long in Pakistan flowing into the Kabul River

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Other Words from swat

Verb (2)

swatting noun
Prosecutors say that in addition to initiating the swatting episode in Kansas … Mr. Barriss made dozens of other, similar calls to emergency and law enforcement agencies across the country during which he falsely reported bomb threats, active shootings and other criminal activity at high schools, shopping malls and even the Federal Bureau of Investigation. — Matt Stevens and Andrew R. Chow

Examples of swat in a Sentence

Verb (1) She swatted the fly with a magazine. The cat was swatting the injured mouse with its paw. He swatted the tennis ball out of bounds. Noun (1) the impatient toddler got a swat on his wrist for stepping into the street by himself
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb When Pope Francis swatted away a grabby congregant in St. Peter’s Square on New Year’s Eve, his look of annoyance gave the Vatican a viral moment on the secular internet. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The New Pope’s Old Magic," 8 Jan. 2020 In probably the final NFL play at the Coliseum, Carr aired a throw to the end zone that was swatted away by the Jaguars to clinch the game. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "Raiders stunned by Jaguars, 20-16, in likely Oakland farewell," 15 Dec. 2019 Now, the second case report, published Thursday in Clinical Infectious Diseases, tells the same story—this time, of a 68-year-old woman who likely picked up the infection on a run in California while swatting flies away from her face. Maggie O'neill, Health.com, "A Second Case of ‘Cattle Eye Worm’ Has Been Reported in the US. Here’s What That Means," 7 Nov. 2019 Baynes rejected Curry layup, 3 and Oubre swatted away Glenn Robinson III layup. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "Phoenix Suns smash Golden State Warriors behind Devin Booker's 31 points," 30 Oct. 2019 Viner himself had been swatted just 20 days earlier to the Kansas incident, his defense attorney Jack Morrison, Jr. told the court. Cincinnati.com, "North College Hill gamer sentenced to 15 months prison in ‘swatting’ case," 15 Sep. 2019 The health department said humans should take preventative measures by covering food and garbage and also avoid swatting at the hornets. USA TODAY, "$4 million dome home, owl surprise Christmas guest, cold sea turtles, red snapper: News from around our 50 states," 23 Dec. 2019 Photo by Brad Horrigan | bhorrigan@courant.com (Brad Horrigan/The Hartford Courant) The Huskies forward swatted shot after shot. Alex Putterman, courant.com, "In close UConn loss, freshman Akok Akok shows how important he can be," 11 Dec. 2019 Michigan was still scoreless early in the game when Dwayne Sutton swatted Michigan's leading scorer Isaiah Livers, staring him down afterward. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, "Winning ugly with defense: No. 1 Louisville proves it can win in more ways than one," 4 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But all of these methods risk being met with a deft swat from the host. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Why the World Needs Bloodsucking Creatures," 2 Dec. 2019 In video of the incident, Bozarjian is taken aback after the swat and stares off in the direction that Callaway ran before resuming her report. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, "Man who groped reporter on live TV charged with sexual battery," 14 Dec. 2019 Aldridge added two of his four swats during the frame. Jeff Mcdonald, ExpressNews.com, "Spurs’ block party sends Leonard, Clippers home empty-handed," 29 Nov. 2019 Undersized for the position at 6-foot-9, shot-blocking has been sporadic, only once reaching 80 swats in a season. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers getting the best version of Tristan Thompson," 31 Oct. 2019 Turkey had gone 0 for 9 on shots to take the lead before Ilyasova’s swat bounced off the rim and dropped through the net. Tim Reynolds, The Denver Post, "USA Basketball somehow gets past Turkey in overtime at FIBA World Cup," 3 Sep. 2019 Ashlyn Harris continued to stand stalwart between the posts for the Pride, knocking away the Red Stars’ best chance of the game with an off-balanced swat of her right hand. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando Pride relies on versatility as backline copes with loss of top defenders," 23 Aug. 2019 Of the victory-clinching swat against his team, San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said that James, per his own coaches, made a mental mistake by rushing off the edge but that his explosiveness allowed him to overwhelm the quarterback. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: James’ injury a blow to Chargers, but team still equipped to succeed," 16 Aug. 2019 When asked which swat was the most important, Ibaka couldn’t quite answer. Sean Gregory/oakland, Time, "The Toronto Raptors Respond to Stephen Curry's Onslaught, Over and Over," 6 June 2019

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

Verb (1)

circa 1796, in the meaning defined above

Noun (1)

circa 1800, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

2007, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1968, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for swat

Verb (1)

English dialect, to squat, alteration of English squat

Verb (2)

verbal derivative of swat

Noun (2)

special weapons and tactics

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Time Traveler for swat

Time Traveler

The first known use of swat was circa 1796

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Statistics for swat

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Swat.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swat. Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for swat


How to pronounce Swat (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of SWAT

chiefly US : a police or military unit that is specially trained to handle very dangerous situations


\ ˈswät How to pronounce swat (audio) \
swatted; swatting

Kids Definition of swat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to hit with a quick hard blow I swatted a fly.



Kids Definition of swat (Entry 2 of 2)

: a hard blow

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More from Merriam-Webster on swat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for swat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with swat

Spanish Central: Translation of swat

Nglish: Translation of swat for Spanish Speakers

Comments on swat

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


dull or mediocre

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