\ 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 Prosecutors contend Christian was the first to get physical, by swatting Namkai-Meche’s phone out of his hand, making the loud sound that Fletcher heard, then throwing the first two shoves. oregonlive, "Micah Fletcher takes stand in MAX stabbing trial: ‘I simply did what I should do’ to challenge bully," 4 Feb. 2020 Gobert swatted a pair of shots as if set up for a volleyball spike, but the mini Rockets continued to look for chances to drive and kick. Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle, "Eric Gordon's monster performance sends Rockets past Jazz," 27 Jan. 2020 But the Hoosiers' freshman big man swatted his shot forcefully off the backboard, and Tillman's putback rolled off. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "IU basketball plays big, holds off Michigan State," 24 Jan. 2020 Other swatting incidents have had even more devastating consequences. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "FBI arrests man suspected of orchestrating dozens of “swatting” calls," 14 Jan. 2020 The play in question began when the Jayhawks' Silvio De Sousa swatted a shot by the Wildcats' DaJuan Gordon and stood over him after the play with the outcome long since decided. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Ex-Pacer Metta World Peace wants to speak to both sides of the Kansas-Kansas State brawl," 23 Jan. 2020 The warrant was issued Thursday as video posted on social media appeared to show Beckham swatting a security officer's buttocks during LSU's locker room victory celebration after Monday night's college national championship game in the Superdome. NBC News, "Warrant for Cleveland Browns' Odell Beckham Jr. rescinded in butt-swat case," 19 Jan. 2020 But Jackson’s pass on fourth-and-8 was incomplete as defensive back AJ Broussard swatted the ball. Alvaro Montano, Houston Chronicle, "Klein Oak rolls past MacArthur and into area round," 16 Nov. 2019 Imagine Uncle Sam, with fist cocked, ready to sock some arrogant foe who swatted down his pricey drone. Rebeccah Heinrichs, National Review, "Trump’s Approach to Iran Smartly Strikes a Difficult Balance," 26 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fearful or anxious individuals may also retreat backwards in avoidance, hide themselves, make their fur stand on edge (piloerection), growl, hiss, spit, swat, or bite. Popular Science, "We’re surprisingly bad at reading cats’ facial expressions," 3 Feb. 2020 His block, Denver’s lone swat of the night, sealed the dramatic comeback and ensured their surging seven-game streak would stand for at least one more night. Mike Singer, The Denver Post, "“We didn’t panic”: Inside the Nuggets’ dramatic, streak-saving win over Suns," 24 Dec. 2019 Andrew Jones grabbed the second swat and found Jase Febres in transition, who threw down a monstrous dunk to give Texas a 37-29 advantage. Alex Briseno, Dallas News, "Texas outshoots Oklahoma State as Big 12 gauntlet looms," 15 Jan. 2020 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

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

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Swat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swat. Accessed 24 Feb. 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

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