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

McCowan saw some early success, swatting Russell a pair of times before allowing a basket off an inbound pass to put Seattle up 13-11. Robert General, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Fever comeback falls short again as they fall 84-82 to Seattle Storm," 12 June 2019 If not for McAvoy, who swatted the puck out of midair after Alex Pietrangelo’s backhander crackled the post and sneaked behind Rask, Jaden Schwartz would have been positioned to jam it in. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, "Stanley Cup Finals Headed to Game 7 After Bruins Wallop Blues," 9 June 2019 Guenther, a left-handed first baseman at TCU, swatted 10 homers and batted .345 this year after two seasons at Sacramento City College, where he was named the school's Male Athlete of the Year at one point. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Three Wisconsin high-school products of Fox Valley Association drafted in first 10 rounds of MLB Draft," 5 June 2019 Three innings later, in the subsequent at-bat between the two, Stanton got the best of Fiers, swatting an 0-2 curveball over the middle of the plate for a home run to deep left field. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers' Mike Fiers pegs Giancarlo Stanton, rekindling bad blood," 5 June 2018 In December, a swatting case ended with a police officer fatally shooting a 28-year-old father of two standing in his front door in Wichita, Kansas. Kevin Conlon, CNN, "The home of Parkland survivor David Hogg was swatted this morning," 5 June 2018 With highs anticipated to be in the 80s and 90s over the Memorial Day weekend, Chicagoans could soon be swatting away the suckers, as mosquito eggs laid in street catch basins and puddles hatch as the days warm. Tessa Weinberg, chicagotribune.com, "Let the swatting begin: Mosquito season kicks off after cool, wet spring," 25 May 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Finch was not the intended target of the swat, and lived at an old address for Gaskill. Washington Post, "Feds charge California man, 2 gamers in deadly hoax call," 23 May 2018 Sultans of swat Kaylad Owings went 4-for-4 with five RBIs in the Bagdad Sultans' 6-5 walk-off win Monday over Glendale Joy Christian. Richard Obert, azcentral, "High school baseball roundup: Skaugrud brothers lead Sandra Day O'Connor win," 18 Apr. 2018 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

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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Statistics for swat

Last Updated

20 Jun 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

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