swear

verb
\ ˈswer How to pronounce swear (audio) \
swore\ ˈswȯr How to pronounce swore (audio) \; sworn\ ˈswȯrn How to pronounce sworn (audio) \; 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)

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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?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Mansion or not, the fact that García, who had once sworn to the tax authorities that his only assets were his house in Lima and the watch on his wrist, was able to buy an apartment of any size in Paris was cause for suspicion. Daniel Alarcón, The New Yorker, "What Led Peru’s Former President to Take His Own Life?," 1 July 2019 Fortunately, there’s a cheap, easy trick out there that moms swear by. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Moms Love This Trick for Cleaning Sandy Beach Feet," 1 July 2019 Gafvert said 564 sworn and civilian Police Department employees participated in the vote. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "Mesa police unions appeal to public as they try to oust Chief Ramon Batista," 28 June 2019 The answer is not necessarily swearing off technology, Sayers said. nola.com, "Horns are growing on young people’s skulls; researchers blame phone use," 22 June 2019 Well, my brother, her husband, went off on the man, calling him names, swearing, and causing a loud, uncomfortable scene. Abigail Van Buren, Twin Cities, "Dear Abby: Waiter’s effort at small talk explodes into savage tirade," 21 June 2019 Skoronski recited each officer’s duties and swore them in. Steve Smith, courant.com, "AARP Chapter Turns 45," 21 June 2019 The answer is not necessarily swearing off technology, Sayers said. Isaac Stanley-becker, The Denver Post, "Why are horns growing on young people’s skulls? Phone use is to blame, research suggests.," 20 June 2019 These are the very simple beauty rules that Diana swore by. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Three Rare, Iconic Princess Diana Day Dresses Are Sold for Nearly $300k at Auction," 19 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Didn't everyone on the Top 100 list swear at some point in their lives?—and Chrissy shut them down immediately. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Chrissy Teigen Is Named a TIME Most Influential Person—and Gets a Hilarious, Fan-Made Cover," 18 Apr. 2019 Two hero skin-care products Paltrow swears by are Vintner's Daughter's Active Botanical Serum and Goop's Exfoliating Instant Facial, both of which could definitely contribute to her flawless complexion. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Gwyneth Paltrow Just Posted a Makeup-Free Selfie Après Ski, and She’s Glowing," 27 Mar. 2019 Chemical repellents have long been considered the best way to ward off mosquitoes and ticks, but many swear by foods and other deterrents rumored to be less toxic. Heidi Mitchell, WSJ, "Is There an Alternative Way to Prevent Bug Bites?," 28 July 2018 While studies have yet to confirm the claims, some swear by the product's ability to alleviate allergies, soothe stress, and promote better sleep. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Those Himalayan Salt Lamps Everyone's Obsessed With Now Come in Skull Form," 25 Sep. 2018 From a lazy bun that's perfect for a quick hair change to the mascara that many swear by, some of our favorite makeup finds have started with just a pin. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Purple Eyeshadow Is Trending on Pinterest," 21 Aug. 2018 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

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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near swear

SWD

swd

sweal

swear

swear blind

swearer-in

swear in

Statistics for swear

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for swear

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

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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 How to pronounce swear (audio) \
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

History and Etymology for swear

Old English swerian

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More from Merriam-Webster on swear

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with swear

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for swear

Spanish Central: Translation of swear

Nglish: Translation of swear for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of swear for Arabic Speakers

Comments on swear

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