1

swift

adjective \ ˈswift \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of swift

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

Examples of swift in a Sentence

  1. a swift and accurate response

  2. the sleekest, swiftest boat ever to have sailed in the regatta

Recent Examples of swift from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of swift

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

Synonym Discussion of swift

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

2

swift

adverb

Definition of swift

:swiftly
  • swift-flowing

Examples of swift in a Sentence

  1. tried to cross the swift-flowing river

First Known Use of swift

14th century


3

swift

noun

Definition of swift

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

Recent Examples of swift from the Web

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

15th century


Swift

biographical name \ ˈswift \

Definition of Swift

Gustavus Franklin 1839–1903 American meatpacker

Swift

biographical name

Definition of Swift

Jonathan 1667–1745 English (Irish-born) satirist

Swiftian

play \ˈswif-tē-ən\ adjective

SWIFT Defined for English Language Learners

swift

adjective

Definition of swift for English Language Learners

  • : happening or done quickly or immediately

  • : moving or able to move very fast

  • : smart or intelligent


swift

noun

Definition of swift for English Language Learners

  • : a small bird that has long, narrow wings


SWIFT Defined for Kids

1

swift

adjective \ ˈswift \

Definition of swift for Students

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

swiftly

adverb

swiftness

noun

2

swift

adverb

Definition of swift for Students

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

3

swift

noun

Definition of swift for Students

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


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