\ 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 Turley’s defense swatted away two late threats, as Leigber pushed the Hawks into Marina territory twice in the final seven minutes. Daily Pilot, "Marina football rallies to win opener at Laguna Hills," 23 Aug. 2019 Fall showed his agility and quickly moved over to swat away Highsmith’s shot. Roy Parry, orlandosentinel.com, "Tacko Fall wows fans during NBA Summer League debut with Celtics," 7 July 2019 Mitchell had a chance to get the U.S. within two with about a minute left, driving against Gobert — but the Utah center read what the Utah guard was going to do perfectly, swatting the try away. Washington Post, "A shocker: US beaten by France 89-79 in World Cup quarters," 11 Sep. 2019 Mitchell had a chance to get the U.S. within two with about a minute left, driving against Gobert — but the Jazz center read what the Jazz guard was going to do perfectly, swatting the try away. Tim Reynolds, Houston Chronicle, "A shocker: US beaten by France 89-79 in World Cup quarters," 11 Sep. 2019 Jaxson Hayes, the eighth overall pick, rocked the rim repeatedly and swatted shots, drawing oohs and aahs from the crowd. Chris Fedor, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Dylan Windler exits summer league game vs. New Orleans Pelicans early, as team wraps up preliminary play," 10 July 2019 Carlson returned the ensuing kickoff to the Berlin 15-yard line, but Tolland turned the ball over on downs as Crowley swatted away a Clark pass in the end zone. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "High school football: Newcomers step up as an undermanned Berlin squad edges Tolland 14-8," 13 Sep. 2019 Strasbourg was just another opponent swatted aside on its parade to the French title. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Play Now, Pay Later: How Loans Became Soccer’s Favored Accounting Tool," 24 Aug. 2019 What followed was a flop shot that the wind swatted down, Rudy Gobert–style, and then an awful putt that came back to him like stampless mail, and then three more putts, and there was his 7. Michael Rosenberg, SI.com, "Unable to Avoid 'Others,' Tiger Woods Turned a 72 Into a 78 on Thurday at the U.S. Open," 14 June 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 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

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

24 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for swat

The first known use of swat was circa 1796

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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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