\ 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 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 Three 14-year-old boys were crossing the street at the intersection of Meadowlark Drive and Glade Road at about 3:25 p.m. Friday when witnesses saw the driver swerve to go around another car. Mary Grace Granados, Dallas News, "After hit-and-run leaves two boys injured, Grapevine police ask for help identifying driver," 2 Dec. 2020 The two women say the police vehicle seemed to deliberately swerve into their lane of traffic on Hillcrest and rammed the Nissan. Bruce Selcraig, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio’s street racing now fueled by parties and social media — but most charges in an ambitious police crackdown were tossed," 27 Nov. 2020 If the stampede doesn’t swerve and doesn’t stop, there is always an out. Robert Ruark, Field & Stream, "F&S Classics: Suicide Made Easy," 1 Dec. 2020 Ochoa was driving south on Scottsdale Road for about five minutes when one of the passengers punched him in the back of his head, causing the car to swerve into another lane. Perry Vandell, The Arizona Republic, "Uber driver says company isn't offering him aid after passenger repeatedly kicks his face, breaks his nose," 22 Nov. 2020 Cruz Baca, 43, of Pompano Beach, tried to avoid her, but was unable to swerve in time. Wayne K. Roustan, sun-sentinel.com, "Pedestrian struck down in Pompano Beach dies in the hospital," 19 Nov. 2020 Kim Solri, 29, of the 900 block of Jonathon Court in Prospect Heights, Ill., was arrested Sept. 13 for driving under the influence after police saw Solri make an improper stop and swerve in the roadway. Pioneer Press Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Libertyville police: Two arrested for DUI in past week," 21 Sep. 2020 The crash occurred when a cement truck traveling west on Loop 202 had a tire blow out, causing the driver to swerve left and collide into a concrete median, said Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesperson Bart Graves. Chelsea Curtis, The Arizona Republic, "2 injured in crash involving cement truck on Loop 202 near 40th Street," 3 Nov. 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

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Swerve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swerve. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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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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