swear

1 of 2

verb

swore ˈswȯr How to pronounce swear (audio) ; sworn ˈswȯrn How to pronounce swear (audio) ; swearing

transitive verb

1
: to utter or take solemnly (an oath)
2
a
: 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
3
a
: 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
swearer noun

swear

2 of 2

noun

Phrases
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

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
Dan Linden, co-founder of Chief AI Officer swears by this method. Jodie Cook, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 Keep reading for all the serums, drops, moisturizers, and more that my teens and I swear by, starting at $7. Chaunie Brusie, Rn, Parents, 13 Feb. 2024 Doctor and longevity expert Dr. Mark Hyman swears by these five foods to age well, live longer, and reduce the risk of chronic disease. Alexa Mikhail, Fortune Well, 13 Feb. 2024 This mane swears by Bb. Curl Anti-Humidity Gel Oil to keep the volume but get rid of the frizz. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 13 Feb. 2024 Those of us who came of age during that time swore off the Republican Party and doubled down on creating a kinder state. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 9 Feb. 2024 Rhun islanders swore allegiance to the British in an unsuccessful attempt to secure protection from the Dutch, who committed genocide by killing or enslaving 90 percent of the Bandanese people. Muktita Suhartono Nyimas Laula, New York Times, 9 Feb. 2024 Plus, the design that includes that little tail is more comfortable to some people (so swears my co-worker) than the newer, tailless design. Jade Chung-Lee, PCMAG, 6 Feb. 2024 Nelson, who primarily works on gas grills, says many grillers swear by the intangible element that charcoal adds to the barbecue experience. Linda Gassenheimer, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024
Noun
Chicago was one of three cities to come in fourth place, with an average of 17 daily swears. Hannah Kirby, Journal Sentinel, 9 Aug. 2023 Inland Istria While first-time visitors to Istria, easily one of the best places to visit in Croatia, make a beeline for the coast, those in the know swear by the peninsula's green interior. Anja Mutic, Travel + Leisure, 9 Apr. 2023 Podiatrists recommend them, travelers love them, and even nurses on TikTok swear by them. Kristine Solomon, Travel + Leisure, 6 July 2023 Business professionals and lawyers who have experience using a Standing Neutral swear by their effectiveness. Kate Vitasek, Forbes, 11 Jan. 2023 Skincare influencers on social media platforms like TikTok swear by the brand, which has helped to propel it to cult popularity since 2020. Jacqueline Saguin, Good Housekeeping, 19 Apr. 2023 The exfiltration supports a double extortion model that requires a payment not just for a decryption key but also for a pinky swear that criminals won’t make the data public. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 7 Apr. 2022 While first-time visitors to Istria make a beeline for the coast, those in the know swear by the peninsula's green interior. Anja Mutic, Travel + Leisure, 27 Nov. 2021 Users on TikTok swear by time blocking for a productive day. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 20 Nov. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'swear.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near swear

Cite this Entry

“Swear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swear. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

swear

verb
ˈswa(ə)r,
ˈswe(ə)r
swore
ˈswō(ə)r,
ˈswȯ(ə)r
; sworn
ˈswō(ə)rn,
ˈswȯ(ə)rn
; swearing
1
: to make a statement or promise under oath
2
a
: to state as true under oath
a sworn statement
b
: to state or promise strongly or sincerely
I swear that I was there
3
a
: to give an oath to
the witness was sworn
b
: to bind by an oath
swore us to secrecy
4
: to take an oath
5
: to use bad or vulgar language
swearer noun

Legal Definition

swear

verb
swore; sworn; swearing

transitive verb

1
: to utter or take solemnly
swear an oath
2
a
: to assert as true or promise under oath
a sworn affidavit
b
: to assert or promise emphatically or earnestly
swore to uphold the constitution
3
a
: to put to an oath
b
: to bind by an oath

intransitive verb

: to take an oath
Etymology

Verb

Old English swerian

More from Merriam-Webster on swear

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