swift

adjective
\ ˈswift How to pronounce swift (audio) \

Definition of swift

 (Entry 1 of 5)

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 5)

: swiftly swift-flowing

swift

noun

Definition of swift (Entry 3 of 5)

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

Swift

biographical name (1)
\ ˈswift How to pronounce Swift (audio) \

Definition of Swift (Entry 4 of 5)

Gustavus Franklin 1839–1903 American meatpacker

Swift

biographical name (2)

Definition of Swift (Entry 5 of 5)

Jonathan 1667–1745 English (Irish-born) satirist

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Other Words from swift

Biographical name (2)

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

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But advocates for people with mental illness argue that much more needs to be done to ensure swift and appropriate care for people suffering a psychiatric emergency, especially suicidal thoughts. Christine Vestal, azcentral, "'Arizona model' for behavioral health crisis care gains attention from other states," 21 Feb. 2020 The outcry was swift and immediate, with protesters showing up at airports and many Republicans criticizing the decision. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "How the Trump Administration Uses the “Hidden Weapons” of Immigration Law," 13 Feb. 2020 Feedback from Avast users has been swift and voluminous. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Avast shutters data-selling subsidiary amid user outrage," 30 Jan. 2020 The various reactions were swift and went viral, quickly devolving into arguments between people who had no issues with his use of the expression and those who did. Saratu Abiola, Quartz Africa, "What Cardi B’s Lagos and Accra visits say about travel and media representations of Africa," 13 Dec. 2019 When the Cardinals didn’t make a move at the trade deadline in July, the reaction in St. Louis was swift and almost universal. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Baseball winter meetings ‘winners’ are defined by amount of activity in the Twitter age. But the best move still can be the one you don’t make.," 7 Dec. 2019 Some of Webber’s writing has large intervallic leaps that unfold slowly, setting up sturdy scaffolding under which swift and tight patterns tick away, like some other fizzy ecosystem existing in the shade of the bigger structure. John Adamian, courant.com, "Anna Webber’s Septet playing at Firehouse 12," 17 Nov. 2019 Milner has been a vital cog in Jurgen Klopp's side in recent years despite his age, and the versatile veteran is keen for a swift and positive resolution over his future. SI.com, "James Milner Reveals Liverpool Contract 'Talks' With Current Deal Close to Expiry," 23 Oct. 2019 In contrast, my family’s ostracization of me was swift and concise. Sine Nomine, Marie Claire, "I Was Adopted by a Sex Offender," 18 Sep. 2019 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, "Energy Secretary Rick Perry Has Told Trump He Will Leave His Post Soon: Sources," 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, "Clear Creek tubing, swimming and body surfing banned as death toll on Colorado waterways continues to rise," 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, "Avalanche have 5th best odds to win Stanley Cup in 2020," 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, "Hit these 5 Colorado rivers for amazing whitewater rafting this summer," 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, "Meteorologists Worry 5G Expansion Could Interfere With Weather Forecasts," 14 May 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Domino > Knives Out Brian De Palma reexamines his Millennial politics — depicting the War on Terror in a swift, effective genre exercise. Armond White, National Review, "The 15th Annual Better-Than List," 3 Jan. 2020 Then on Monday, swift walked the red carpet at the premiere for Cats in New York — and she was also spotted walking hand-in-hand with boyfriend Joe Alwyn afterwards. Ashley Boucher, PEOPLE.com, "Taylor Swift Gets Surprise Birthday Party from Collaborators Jack Antonoff and Laura Sisk," 18 Dec. 2019 One of the more intriguing recent political developments in France, for instance, has been the far-right National Rally’s swift and increasingly successful move to outflank the leftist Green Party on ecological concerns. Thomas Chatterton Williams, Harper's magazine, "An Incoherent Truth," 20 Jan. 2020 For species already threatened with extinction, already clinging to the edge, this may have been the swift and final blow. Matt Simon, Wired, "Wildfires Are Obliterating Australia's Iconic Ecosystems," 8 Jan. 2020 In the weeks before Soleimani was killed, Iran was rocked by anti-government protests that prompted swift and deadly government crackdowns. NBC News, "Iran faces fresh protests after admitting it shot down plane, killing 176," 12 Jan. 2020 Presumably in an effort to widen its appeal, the orchestra in 2019 has pared its popular Christmas Concert into a swift, distinctly lightweight affair. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "Cleveland Orchestra Christmas Concerts take a lighter, more festive turn in 2019," 16 Dec. 2019 The scandal was a swift and crushing fall from grace for the longest-serving active member of Congress. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "U.S. Rep. John Conyers, former dean of Congress, dies at the age of 90," 27 Oct. 2019 No damage was reported, and communications after the quake were swift because authorities were already on duty for Karen, said Kiara Hernández, spokeswoman for Puerto Rico's emergency management agency. CBS News, "Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands brace for Tropical Storm Karen," 24 Sep. 2019

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for swift

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for swift

Last Updated

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

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

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More Definitions for swift

swift

adjective
How to pronounce Swift (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of swift

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: happening or done quickly or immediately
: moving or able to move very fast
US, informal : smart or intelligent

swift

noun

English Language Learners Definition of swift (Entry 2 of 2)

: a small bird that has long, narrow wings

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on swift

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for swift

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with swift

Spanish Central: Translation of 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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