verb (1)
\ 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


noun (1)

Definition of swat (Entry 2 of 5)

1 : a powerful or crushing blow
2 : a long hit in baseball especially : home run


verb (2)
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

But Subasic stretches and just gets a hand on it to swat it out of danger. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Russia Finally Falls, Leaving a Trail of Admirers and Doubters," 8 July 2018 Our science teacher immediately ran at him, swatted a gun out of his hand and tackled him to the ground. Kayli Plotner, chicagotribune.com, "Central Illinois native, SIU grad hailed as hero after stopping Indiana school shooting suspect," 25 May 2018 While attempting to swat the bug, the truck exited the roadway, colliding with the guardrail on the truck's passenger side before hitting the concrete construction barrier wall, causing the trailer to break away from the truck. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "ISP: Truck driver distracted by bug flips semi on I-65 in Lake County," 12 July 2018 The White House hasn’t commented on Macron’s claim, but President Trump is likely to swat down the notion that anyone told him what to do. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Macron Says He Convinced Trump to Stay in Syria for the Long Run," 15 Apr. 2018 Early in the second quarter, Gay soared high to swat an Eric Gordon finger-roll attempt. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Gay’s bench boost gets Spurs one step closer to the playoffs," 1 Apr. 2018 The Nuggets beat Golden State 100-98 at home on Oct. 21 thanks to Juancho Hernangomez swatting away a shot at the buzzer. Pat Graham, The Seattle Times, "Jokic, Nuggets remain on top in West halfway through season," 14 Jan. 2019 Throw in a bizarre Hill Country sirocco that acted like an elemental Dikembe Mutombo, swatting away drives and steering putts astray. Roy Bragg, San Antonio Express-News, "Young golfer makes his bid to play with the big boys," 19 Apr. 2018 The brothers modelled for Yves Saint Laurent in 2013, but swatted away associations with the style sphere. Ronan Farrow, The New Yorker, "The Garden’s Loud, Goofy Sound," 12 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The swat led to a transition opportunity, with Stephen Curry picking up a costly third foul trying to get back on defense. Chris Fedor, cleveland.com, "LeBron James blocks Kevin Durant's driving layup attempt (video)," 16 Jan. 2018 However, events spiralled out of control, with two of Barriss’ teammates, Casey Viner and Shane Gaskill, becoming involved in the swat that led to Finch’s death. Jon Porter, The Verge, "California man pleads guilty to fatal swatting and FCC bomb threat," 14 Nov. 2018 And although there may be some rationale to a dispassionate swat, what parents and caregivers didn't understand was what was happening to the child's brain, especially when the small spank turned into a beating or whipping. Meghan Leahy, chicagotribune.com, "I don't want to spank my sassy 4-year-old. What should I do instead?," 5 July 2018 The teams put on a lively show, trading ice hockey-style fast breaks, sneaky steals, and explosive backhand swats. Anthony Flint, BostonGlobe.com, "For an otherworldly splurge, beach polo at the Ocean House," 16 May 2018 In many cultures, a swat on the bottom of a child who had stepped out of line was often enough. Meghan Leahy, chicagotribune.com, "I don't want to spank my sassy 4-year-old. What should I do instead?," 5 July 2018 There are many kinds and levels of corporal punishment, ranging from infrequent swats on the butt to regular open-handed smacking or striking with belts or paddles, and many contexts in which it might be employed. David Roberts, Vox, "Please don’t spank your kids," 3 July 2018 The swats left black, blue and purple bruises from the boy’s hip to his knee and a bruised foot that left him limping for days. Washington Post, "North Carolina court considers if father’s paddling is crime," 18 Apr. 2018 The 7-footer's 104 blocks rank second in single-season swats in program history. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "Former Louisville center Anas Mahmoud to play in NBA summer league," 22 June 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near swat








Statistics for swat

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for swat

The first known use of swat was circa 1796

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More Definitions for swat



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with swat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


a secret plot to overthrow a government

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