swear

verb
\ˈswer \
swore\ˈswȯr \; sworn\ˈswȯrn \; swearing

Definition of swear 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to utter or take solemnly (an oath)

2a : to assert as true or promise under oath a sworn affidavit swore to uphold the Constitution

b : to assert or promise emphatically or earnestly swore he'd study harder next time

3a : to put to an oath : administer an oath to

b : to bind by an oath swore them to secrecy

4 obsolete : to invoke the name of (a sacred being) in an oath

5 : to bring into a specified state by swearing swore his life away

intransitive verb

1 : to take an oath

2 : to use profane or obscene language : curse

swear by

: to place great confidence in swears by his mechanic

swear for

: to give assurance for : guarantee

swear off

: to vow to abstain from : renounce swear off smoking

swear

noun

Definition of swear (Entry 2 of 2)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from swear

Verb

swearer noun

Examples of swear in a Sentence

Verb

He swore revenge on the killers. I swear to God, I'll kill him if he comes back. Don't swear in front of the children. I do solemnly swear to tell the whole truth.

Noun

I heard him say a swear. can't you express your frustration without using swears?
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But Laura swears her dust, and her story, are real. CBS News, "Tennessee woman suing NASA to keep moon dust she says Neil Armstrong gave her," 4 July 2018 Think about the form on which a person swears the pawned item was not stolen. Taylor Palmby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A rare felony charge could help curb Wisconsin's opioid epidemic and property theft," 2 July 2018 One young man started angrily swearing and others scolded him to behave. Joshua Partlow, chicagotribune.com, "Inside the church where Nicaraguan paramilitaries laid siege on university students," 14 July 2018 Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, keeps in her West Wing office a photo of various senior White House officials, including herself and Mr. McGahn, being sworn-in in late January 2017. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "White House Lawyer Reshapes U.S. Courts," 12 July 2018 The flag contains paradoxes: sworn and torn, pledged and deplored, burned and raised, the flag of Norman Rockwell and David Hammons, of civil-rights marches and Ku Klux Klan rallies, of loyalty and opposition, and avowed patriotism nonetheless. Michael D. Breidenbach, The Atlantic, "Raising the American Flag Made in China," 4 July 2018 But many pawnshop employees are not sworn notaries. Taylor Palmby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A rare felony charge could help curb Wisconsin's opioid epidemic and property theft," 2 July 2018 Many of us who lived it (and have the yearbook photos to prove it) swore off the firm-hold hairspray years ago. Djuna Bel, Glamour, "It's Time to Give '80s Beauty Another Shot," 28 June 2018 Marshall said swearing-in ceremonies of this size may become the norm over the next few years. Rafael Guerrero, Naperville Sun, "Naperville police swear in new commanders, sergeants and officers to fill ranks after flood of retirements," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But this list is a mix of cleansers, moisturizers, and makeup that real people with rosacea swear by. Talia Abbas, SELF, "16 Skin-Care Products Women With Rosacea Love," 14 May 2018 But fans of the stinky fruit swear by the sweet-yet-savory taste of the durian's mushy pulp, which can be scooped out and eaten raw or used in a number of Southeast Asian recipes, especially in desserts. Melinda Morris, NOLA.com, "Who boils the best crawfish in metro New Orleans? It's the last day to vote," 30 Apr. 2018 But fans of the stinky fruit swear by the sweet-yet-savory taste of the durian’s mushy pulp, which can be scooped out and eaten raw or used in a number of Southeast Asian recipes, especially in desserts. Amy B Wang, Washington Post, "Fears of a gas leak forced an evacuation at a Melbourne university. It was a durian.," 29 Apr. 2018 Gülich didn't talk smack, though Fuehring learned some German swears to use during the game just in case. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "Sam Fuehring's relentless defense vs. Oregon State's star proves pivotal in Lexington," 25 Mar. 2018 Fans of 2014's Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze swear by its breadth and production values. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Celeste review: With amazing twists, this 2D game reaches great heights," 25 Jan. 2018 Pinky-swears, whispers of secret club loyalties, no-girls-he-man-women-hater clubs like Spanky and Alfalfa had, all taught us to keep our childhood promises no matter what. Leslie Anne Tarabella, AL.com, "When parents break a promise," 13 July 2017 The mask, which stars including Kourtney Kardashian and January Jones swear by, uses LED lights in various colors to help to decrease the appearance of wrinkles, minimize hyper pigmentation, fight acne and more. Jillian Ruffo, PEOPLE.com, "Kristen Bell Just 'Scared the S---' Out of Husband Dax Shepard with a $2,300 Face Mask," 18 Jan. 2018 If your preference lies with packing cubes instead of compression sacs, over 4,000 people on Amazon swear by the Shacke Pack set of four packing cubes ($22.99, originally $39.99; amazon.com). CNN Underscored, "Accessories that allow you to travel using only carry-on luggage," 19 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'swear.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of swear

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for swear

Verb

Middle English sweren, from Old English swerian; akin to Old High German swerien to swear and perhaps to Old Church Slavonic svarŭ quarrel

Verb

Old English swerian

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about swear

Dictionary Entries near swear

SWD

swd

sweal

swear

swear blind

swearer-in

swear in

Statistics for swear

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for swear

The first known use of swear was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for swear

swear

verb

English Language Learners Definition of swear

: to state (something) very strongly and sincerely

: to promise very strongly and sincerely to do or not do something

: to use offensive words when you speak

swear

verb
\ˈswer \
swore\ˈswȯr \; sworn\ˈswȯrn \; swearing

Kids Definition of swear

1 : to use bad or vulgar language : curse

2 : to make a statement or promise with sincerity or under oath : vow I swear to tell the truth.

3 : to give an oath to The witness was sworn.

4 : to bind by an oath He swore them to secrecy.

5 : to be or feel certain I swear I saw it a minute ago.

swear

verb
swore; sworn; swearing

Legal Definition of swear 

transitive verb

1 : to utter or take solemnly swear an oath

2a : to assert as true or promise under oath a sworn affidavit

b : to assert or promise emphatically or earnestly swore to uphold the constitution

3a : to put to an oath

b : to bind by an oath

intransitive verb

: to take an oath

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on swear

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

WORD OF THE DAY

not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!