\ 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 The car lost control and swerved shortly before the crash, according to police reports. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "Woman dies in one-car crash on icy street in Cleveland’s Clark-Fulton neighborhood," 14 Feb. 2020 Hours after police arrested her, the Jeep sat abandoned in the parking space Roemhild had swerved into just outside her room, according to a housekeeper who wished to be identified only as Rose. Anchorage Daily News, "Woman who breached Mar-a-Lago security refuses to face judge," 1 Feb. 2020 The Arizona Republic in late 2018 documented several incidents of people harassing the autonomous vehicles and their drivers by following them, swerving at them, trying to run them off the road and even one man who aimed a gun at one. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "Waymo says driver slammed the brakes in front of company's vehicle, causing Tempe crash," 31 Jan. 2020 There are swerving walkways, lush flowerbeds, antiques statuary and a patio set in yellow, lime green, red, blue and orange with bright patterned cushions. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "In with the old, in with the new: Highlights from the homes we toured in 2019," 2 Jan. 2020 Instead, drivers bank, swerve, and loop their way through traffic circle after traffic circle. BostonGlobe.com, "Even in Abbeville, on a recent morning, workers in fluorescent orange vests and hard hats were breaking ground on yet another rotary, as cars were backed up by the construction.," 26 Dec. 2019 The child of professors, Kwong swerved toward magic as a Harvard undergrad after attending a talk by the legendary conjurer Ricky Jay. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "Holiday Magic: Fooled and Fooled and Fooled Again," 6 Dec. 2019 The truck swerved to miss the Toyota, but both entered the eastbound lane and collided into each other head-on, Montes said. Joe Mario Pedersen, orlandosentinel.com, "Deltona man dead, 2 other men seriously injured in crash on State Road 46," 2 Dec. 2019 At that point, the Pontiac started swerving on Riverview Road. John Benson, cleveland.com, "Drunk Independence driver and Cleveland passenger with warrant end up in jail: Brecksville Police Blotter," 18 Sep. 2019

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

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Swerve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swerve. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for swerve


How to pronounce swerve (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on swerve

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for swerve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with swerve

Spanish Central: Translation of swerve

Nglish: Translation of swerve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of swerve for Arabic Speakers

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