swift

adjective
\ ˈswift How to pronounce swift (audio) \

Definition of swift

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : moving or capable of moving with great speed a swift runner
2 : occurring suddenly or within a very short time a swift transition
3 : quick to respond : ready

swift

adverb

Definition of swift (Entry 2 of 3)

: swiftly swift-flowing

swift

noun

Definition of swift (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : any of several lizards (especially of the genus Sceloporus) that run swiftly
2 : a reel for winding yarn or thread
3 : any of numerous small plainly colored birds (family Apodidae) that are related to the hummingbirds but superficially much resemble swallows

Choose the Right Synonym for swift

Adjective

fast, rapid, swift, fleet, quick, speedy, hasty, expeditious mean moving, proceeding, or acting with celerity. fast and rapid are very close in meaning, but fast applies particularly to the thing that moves fast horses and rapid to the movement itself. rapid current swift suggests great rapidity coupled with ease of movement. returned the ball with one swift stroke fleet adds the implication of lightness and nimbleness. fleet runners quick suggests promptness and the taking of little time. a quick wit speedy implies quickness of successful accomplishment speedy delivery of mail and may also suggest unusual velocity. hasty suggests hurry and precipitousness and often connotes carelessness. a hasty inspection expeditious suggests efficiency together with rapidity of accomplishment. the expeditious handling of an order

Examples of swift in a Sentence

Adjective a swift and accurate response the sleekest, swiftest boat ever to have sailed in the regatta Adverb tried to cross the swift-flowing river
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Leaders should take swift action in circumstances that can be handled in the short term and develop a plan for areas that require more planning and budgetary approval. Niki Jorgensen, Forbes, 5 May 2022 All of the swift action decisive in his ultimate recovery. Rachel Scott, ABC News, 4 May 2022 Almond was impressed with the police response, the investigation at the scene and the swift action by his fellow good Samaritans. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Apr. 2022 That's why mayors across the United States are calling on Congress to take swift action to address the coming hunger cliff. CNN, 26 Apr. 2022 The decertification suggestion was met by swift criticism from members of both parties. Adam Brewster, CBS News, 1 Mar. 2022 The effort drew swift criticism for historical mistakes. Jocelyn Gecker, USA TODAY, 16 Feb. 2022 The effort drew swift criticism for historical mistakes. Jocelyn Gecker, chicagotribune.com, 16 Feb. 2022 The effort drew swift criticism for historical mistakes. NBC News, 16 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb That trip was referenced in the whistle-blower complaint that sparked the House’s swift-moving impeachment inquiry. Jennifer Jacobs, Time, 17 Oct. 2019 As of Monday, Golden Police Chief Bill Kilpatrick and Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Schrader are restricting water activities on Clear Creek because of swift-moving water and floating debris. Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post, 1 July 2019 By The Numbers 5 The forecast for Colorado’s 2019 whitewater rafting season: Rad, thanks to epic snowfall this winter that will likely spell swift-moving rivers. Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post, 19 June 2019 The forecast for Colorado’s 2019 whitewater rafting season: Rad, thanks to epic snowfall this winter that will likely spell swift-moving rivers. Brittany Anas, The Know, 18 June 2019 The Trump Administration’s swift-moving plan to promote 5G networks is running into resistance from the weather-forecasting community. Drew Fitzgerald, WSJ, 14 May 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Before any official investigation or court ruling, the home minister of the state, Madhya Pradesh, appeared to fault the Muslims and ordered demolitions — the same swift, one-sided punishments imposed in two other states over recent clashes. New York Times, 11 May 2022 Using technology, their governments initiated a swift and all-encompassing societal response and people complied. Martin Rand, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 Guy Lafleur, the swift-skating Canadiens winger whose scoring prowess helped preserve Montreal’s National Hockey League dynasty throughout the 1970s, has died at 70. Washington Post, 22 Apr. 2022 In the last two weeks, Hillsong has lost nine of its 16 American church campuses, a swift and stunning decline for one of the world’s largest and most influential evangelical churches. New York Times, 29 Mar. 2022 The state of Georgia updated its COVID-19 online dashboard on Monday for the first time in five days after technical challenges halted daily reports amid the swift-moving omicron wave. J. Scott Trubey, ajc, 11 Jan. 2022 Enjoy the thrills—without the uphills—with Damascus Bike Rentals’ shuttle service, which takes cyclists up to the path’s highest point, Whitetop, for a swift, mostly downhill 34-mile ride back to the Abingdon start. Stephanie Vermillion, Outside Online, 11 Mar. 2022 But Lee’s mother, Nan, who’s eventually won over, is at first visibly concerned and perhaps a bit disappointed about the swift, reality show engagement. NBC News, 11 Mar. 2022 Lentink’s team of undergraduate students then developed a drone whose design is based on the swift’s flying behavior. Manasee Wagh, Popular Mechanics, 11 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'swift.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of swift

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for swift

Adjective

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old English swīfan to revolve — more at swivel

Learn More About swift

Time Traveler for swift

Time Traveler

The first known use of swift was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near swift

Swietenia

swift

Swift

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Statistics for swift

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Swift.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swift. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for swift

swift

adjective
\ ˈswift How to pronounce swift (audio) \
swifter; swiftest

Kids Definition of swift

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : moving or capable of moving with great speed a swift river a swift runner
2 : occurring suddenly a swift kick a swift descent

Other Words from swift

swiftly adverb
swiftness noun

swift

adverb

Kids Definition of swift (Entry 2 of 3)

: in a swift manner I crossed a swift-flowing river.

swift

noun

Kids Definition of swift (Entry 3 of 3)

: a small usually black bird that is related to the hummingbirds but looks like a swallow

Swift biographical name (1)

\ ˈswift How to pronounce Swift (audio) \

Definition of Swift

 (Entry 1 of 2)

Gustavus Franklin 1839–1903 American meatpacker

Swift

biographical name (2)

Definition of Swift (Entry 2 of 2)

Jonathan 1667–1745 English (Irish-born) satirist

Other Words from swift

Swiftian \ ˈswif-​tē-​ən How to pronounce Swift (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on swift

Nglish: Translation of swift for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of swift for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about swift

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