\ ˈswərv How to pronounce swerve (audio) \
swerved; swerving

Definition of swerve

intransitive verb

: to turn aside abruptly from a straight line or course : deviate

transitive verb

: to cause to turn aside or deviate

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Other Words from swerve

swerve noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for swerve



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Choose the Right Synonym for swerve

swerve, veer, deviate, depart, digress, diverge mean to turn aside from a straight course. swerve may suggest a physical, mental, or moral turning away from a given course, often with abruptness. swerved to avoid hitting the dog veer implies a major change in direction. at that point the path veers to the right deviate implies a turning from a customary or prescribed course. never deviated from her daily routine depart suggests a deviation from a traditional or conventional course or type. occasionally departs from his own guidelines digress applies to a departing from the subject of one's discourse. a professor prone to digress diverge may equal depart but usually suggests a branching of a main path into two or more leading in different directions. after school their paths diverged

Examples of swerve in a Sentence

He lost control of the car and swerved toward a tree. the car swerved sharply to avoid the squirrel in the road
Recent Examples on the Web Investigators say Binger was driving at 62 mph in a 30-mph zone, and there was no evidence of skid marks to indicate any attempt to swerve or brake. Wayne K. Roustan, sun-sentinel.com, "Woman pulled from wreck said she was alone in car, police say. Her passenger burned to death.," 8 Apr. 2021 Some contemporary artisans attempt to swerve from Brazil’s rich design history. Helena Madden, Robb Report, "Meet the Boundary-Breaking Brazilian Designers Making Some of the World’s Most Inventive Furniture," 13 Mar. 2021 The driver of a pickup truck tried to take the exit from the wrong lane, forcing the driver of the SUV to swerve to the right. Andres Picon, San Antonio Express-News, "SUV goes airborne on I-35, crashes into compact car, kills 23-year-old woman," 7 Mar. 2021 What caused Ravnsborg to swerve onto the shoulder of the road where investigators say Boever was walking? Stephen Groves, Star Tribune, "Wait baffles family of man killed in South Dakota AG crash," 13 Feb. 2021 Moscow police arrested him three months later, accusing him of grabbing the arm of the officer driving him to the station, causing the vehicle to swerve and endangering the lives of officers. Elizabeth Thompson, Dallas News, "White House presses Russia to release Texan Trevor Reed, calls former Marine’s case a ‘mockery of justice’," 3 Feb. 2021 While the men were racing, another car entered the roadway from a nearby private property, causing Meath to swerve and lose control of his car, according to court documents. Brooke Newman, The Arizona Republic, "Scottsdale police say 2 men were racing 'in excess of 120 mph' before crash killed 1," 16 Nov. 2020 In these works, thought tends to veer and swerve erratically, syntax is warped and logic suspended, and vocabularies and tones are mixed and recombined with wild abandon. Troy Jollimore, Washington Post, "‘The Selected Letters of John Berryman’ is an intimate portrait of the celebrated, tortured poet," 22 Oct. 2020 Royle made a sharp turn to the right to swerve away from the danger. Cassidy Randall, Time, "How One Man Survived a Plane Crash and 5 Days in the Snowy Canadian Wilderness—and Went On to Help Shape the Modern Ski Industry," 27 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'swerve.' 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 swerve

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for swerve

Middle English, from Old English sweorfan to wipe, file away; akin to Old High German swerban to wipe off, Welsh chwerfu to whirl

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Time Traveler for swerve

Time Traveler

The first known use of swerve was in the 14th century

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Statistics for swerve

Last Updated

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Swerve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swerve. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for swerve



English Language Learners Definition of swerve

: to change direction suddenly especially to avoid hitting someone or something


\ ˈswərv How to pronounce swerve (audio) \
swerved; swerving

Kids Definition of swerve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to turn aside suddenly from a straight line or course The van swerved to avoid an oncoming car.



Kids Definition of swerve (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or instance of turning aside suddenly

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Comments on swerve

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