\ 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 When the hatchback swerved out of the way of a patrol car, the officer veered to avoid hitting it and crashed into the center median near Middle Rincon Road, striking a tree and totalling the car, police said. Anna Bauman, SFChronicle.com, "Driver faces hit-and-run charge in crash that left Santa Rosa police officer injured," 5 Nov. 2019 In Milwaukee, three children — ages 4, 6 and 10 — were recently struck in the crosswalk by a driver who swerved around stopped cars to run a red light at North 22nd and West Center streets. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Kids' handmade signs urge drivers to slow down in Bayside," 30 Oct. 2019 On the night of May 30, 2016, a Colorado State Patrol officer pulled Mr. Friedlander over after seeing his Audi sedan swerving. Stacy Cowley, New York Times, "These Machines Can Put You in Jail. Don’t Trust Them.," 30 Oct. 2019 Video shows a black pickup swerving toward protesters blocking Wyatt’s employee parking lot. BostonGlobe.com, "They said prosecutors told them no charges will be filed against the Wyatt officers who used pepper spray on the protestors or against the officer who, according to witnesses and video, drove a pickup truck into a group of protesters.," 24 Oct. 2019 In stoppage time at the end of the first half, Granit Xhaka unleashed a venomous volley from outside the area, with home goalkeeper Dean Henderson showing fine athleticism to parry the Swiss' swerving drive wide of the post. SI.com, "Sheffield United 1-0 Arsenal: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Gunners Lament Refereeing Decisions," 21 Oct. 2019 Rescue efforts continued Tuesday, three days after the typhoon made landfall near Tokyo and then swerved northward before moving over the Pacific as a tropical storm. Yuri Kageyama, chicagotribune.com, "Flooded bullet trains show Japan’s risks from disasters," 17 Oct. 2019 Rescue efforts continued Tuesday, three days after the typhoon made landfall near Tokyo and then swerved northward before moving over the Pacific as a tropical storm. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Flooded bullet trains show Japan’s risks from disasters," 15 Oct. 2019 When Abbott and his partner got out of their vehicles, the man took off again, swerving up onto a sidewalk and coming to a sudden stop in a parking lot. NBC News, "Frank had always wanted to be a police officer. Everything changed when he shot a man in the line of duty.," 6 Oct. 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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Statistics for swerve

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for swerve

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

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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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