swim

verb
\ˈswim \
swam\ˈswam \; swum\ˈswəm \; swimming

Definition of swim 

(Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to propel oneself in water by natural means (such as movements of the limbs, fins, or tail)

b : to play in the water (as at a beach or swimming pool)

2 : to move with a motion like that of swimming : glide a cloud swam slowly across the moon

3a : to float on a liquid : not sink

b : to surmount difficulties : not go under sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish— Daniel Webster

4 : to become immersed in or flooded with or as if with a liquid potatoes swimming in gravy

5 : to have a floating or reeling appearance or sensation

transitive verb

1a : to cross by propelling oneself through water swim a stream

b : to execute in swimming

2 : to cause to swim or float

swim

noun

Definition of swim (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a smooth gliding motion

2 : an act or period of swimming

3 : a temporary dizziness or unconsciousness

4a : an area frequented by fish

b : the main current of activity in the swim

swim

adjective

Definition of swim (Entry 3 of 3)

: of, relating to, or used in or for swimming

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Other Words from swim

Verb

swimmer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for swim

Synonyms: Verb

drift, float, glide, hang, hover, poise, ride, sail, waft

Synonyms: Noun

blackout, faint, insensibility, knockout, swoon, syncope

Antonyms: Verb

settle, sink

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Examples of swim in a Sentence

Verb

He's teaching the children to swim. She swam across the pool. He swam the English Channel. The racers must swim the backstroke. We watched the fish swimming in the river. Ducks swam in the pond. I felt weak and my head was swimming. The room swam before my eyes.

Noun

the merest glimpse of blood sends him into a swim
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Coe is a big fan of whale watches and swims with wild dolphins. David Scharfenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Did humans drive this polar bear insane?," 13 July 2018 The parents posted a video on Instagram showing the girl nearly three weeks after her surgery swimming with her grandfather. Lindsey Bever, Washington Post, "A 6-year-old was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. Then her little brother was, too.," 7 July 2018 Authorities say Mario Benassi, 23, was swimming with a group of friends in the rapids about 300 feet downstream from the South Fork Bridge, over which Highway 49 runs. Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "Yuba River rapids take another life near Highway 49," 27 June 2018 After the story ran, other divers began to travel to the Cayman Islands to see and swim with the rays. National Geographic, "32 Astonishing Photos From a Career Spent Underwater," 13 June 2018 On June 1, Isabel Saintil went swimming with her sister, Sarah Sinile, 23, and Sinile’s two infant children in the pool at 978 S.W. 10th Drive, in Pompano Beach, investigators said. Wayne K. Roustan, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Girl, 6, taken off life support after being found in pool," 9 June 2018 Simple hard and fast rules to follow include to always swim with a buddy — even if there’s a lifeguard present — and never leave children unattended near water, according to the American Red Cross. Lindsay Kimble, PEOPLE.com, "Summer Has Arrived — Here's How to Avoid Flesh-Eating Bacteria & More Warm Weather Health Hazards," 5 June 2018 Community Programs Sarah McClure, the city’s director of parks and recreation, announced the addition of a new pool manager, Katie Crocker, who had taught swim lessons with the city in 2017. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "Oak Ridge North News & Notes," 31 May 2018 Cornelius was swimming with his girlfriend, Aubrey E. Tesch, 19, of Fort Atkinson while attempting to regain control of a drifting personal watercraft. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Woman drowns in Kenosha on Memorial Day. Teen who drowned in Whitewater Lake was Carthage College track star," 28 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Frazier will also help out with the boys’ swim team. Matt Szabo, latimes.com, "Estancia hires Matt Frazier, Amber Peters to lead aquatics program," 11 July 2018 Like Ayres, Goodman got her initial lifeguard certification while on the swim team in high school. Meredith Colias-pete, Post-Tribune, "More than just a day at the beach, lifeguards train to save lives," 10 July 2018 Open to the community, the center also serves as home to local swim team, the Stingrays. Candace Dantes, ajc, "Take a dunk: The best OTP swimming pools near Atlanta," 8 July 2018 Lena Williamson Bishop Feehan, senior Born with spina bifida, Williamson is a four-year member of the swim team. BostonGlobe.com, "2017-17 Para Athlete All-Scholastics," 29 June 2018 Lochte served a 10-month suspension from the U.S. national swim team for his behavior. USA TODAY, "Brazil court allows prosecution of Ryan Lochte over 2016 case," 28 June 2018 Lochte was suspended from the United States national swim team for 10 months for his behavior in Rio. Manuela Andreoni, New York Times, "Prosecutors in Rio Are Cleared to Pursue Criminal Case Against Ryan Lochte," 28 June 2018 Increases in what the city charges swim teams were also approved, but will not go into effect until January. Steve Dreyer, Pomerado News, "Poway Swim Center won't open until after Labor Day," 27 June 2018 At the time of the attack, Turner was a freshman on Stanford's swim team. Author: Meagan Flynn, Anchorage Daily News, "Voters remove California judge who sentenced Brock Turner to 6 months for Stanford sexual assault," 6 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Prizes include bike helmets, summer fun pails, a soccer ball, swim lesson sessions, New Britain Bees tickets and more. Courant Community, "Community News For The Wethersfield Edition," 12 June 2018 And almost all public pools offer swim lessons throughout the season. Helena Oliviero, ajc, "Your guide to some of metro Atlanta’s best public pools," 25 May 2018 Taking mother-daughter dressing to new heights, Ashley and her mom Linda Graham appear alongside one another wearing bikinis, one-pieces, and cover-ups from the swim brand's latest limited-edition capsule with Graham. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Ashley Graham and Her Mom Star in New Swimsuits For All Campaign," 5 Feb. 2018 Work on the extensive overhaul of the swim center began in January. Steve Dreyer, Pomerado News, "Poway Swim Center won't open until after Labor Day," 27 June 2018 From swim team, softball, basketball, running, tennis, and soccer to weightlifting, bicycling, water aerobics, yoga, and dance. Jes Baker, SELF, "Nope, I’m Not Trying to Lose Weight," 26 June 2018 Most pools will be checked at least once or twice each swim season. Anna Douglas And Rachel Jones, charlotteobserver, "Before you jump in, do you know how clean your Charlotte-area pool is?," 5 June 2018 This month, swim season will get underway as pools open in many Houston area communities. Houston Chronicle, "Elyson House and Elyson Café add new amenities and offerings for summer," 13 May 2018 Nicholas Dworet, 17, was looking forward to starting college and joining the swim team at the University of Indianapolis this fall. Carrie Blackmore Smith, Cincinnati.com, "'We are doing holes in these rifles before the rifles make holes in us'," 22 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'swim.' 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 swim

Verb

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

Noun

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1924, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for swim

Verb

Middle English swimmen, from Old English swimman; akin to Old High German swimman to swim

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Statistics for swim

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for swim

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

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More Definitions for swim

swim

verb

English Language Learners Definition of swim

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move through water by moving your arms and legs

: to move through or across (an area of water) by swimming

: to swim by using (a specified method)

swim

noun

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

: an act or period of swimming

swim

verb
\ˈswim \
swam\ˈswam \; swum\ˈswəm \; swimming

Kids Definition of swim

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to move through or in water by moving arms, legs, fins, or tail

2 : to cross by swimming He swam the river.

3 : to float on or in or be covered with or as if with a liquid The corn was swimming in butter.

4 : to be dizzy : move or seem to move in a dizzying way My head swam in the hot room.

Other Words from swim

swimmer noun

swim

noun

Kids Definition of swim (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or period of swimming

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Comments on swim

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