\ 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 road to the Darién is so festooned with potholes that Phillips had to frequently swerve into the opposite lane to avoid them. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, "The U.S. Is Spending Millions of Dollars Rearing Flesh-Eating Worms," 26 May 2020 But the Honda sped off the freeway via an onramp, again causing cars to swerve to get out of the way, only to get back onto the freeway, this time with the westbound traffic. oregonlive, "Driver of stolen car leads police on wild chase, hitting 100 mph while driving wrong way on Oregon’s I-84," 9 May 2020 Walking in the park or on the sidewalk - while technically allowed - prompts many passersby to swerve roughly six feet out of the way. Anchorage Daily News, "Inside the long days of California’s great lockdown, glimpse America’s stay-at-home future," 22 Mar. 2020 Several cars had to swerve to avoid hitting the suspect. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, "Video shows man leading police on wild hour-long chase down California freeway," 6 Mar. 2020 The second Waymo driver told police that Tang's driving had caused them to swerve out of their lane and brake multiple times to avoid crashing into Tang. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Man Arrested for Brake-Checking Waymo Self-Driving Van, Causing Crash," 14 Feb. 2020 Purchased by Karen and Mickey Taylor for $17,500 in 1975, Seattle Slew loses ground after swerving at the start, but Cruquet recovers and rides on to win by almost two lengths. John Scheibe, Los Angeles Times, "This day in sports: Lakers win first NBA championship in L.A.," 7 May 2020 Despite coasting to box-office success, Ocean’s Twelve was disliked on release for swerving in the opposite direction from the uber-cool Ocean’s Eleven. David Sims, The Atlantic, "30 Underrated Films You Should Revisit," 10 Apr. 2020 Gambino sings in an oily harmony—but culminates with brash, spare lyricism from 21 Savage about police force, before swerving back into a euphoric state via Kadhja Bonet’s closing hook. Jason Parham, Wired, "Childish Gambino's 3.15.20 Is Apt for This Isolated Moment," 26 Mar. 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

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Swerve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swerve. Accessed 2 Jun. 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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