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

There are some that send you to outer space, others where kaleidoscopic dolphins or turtles swim around. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Tetris Effect is a glorious love letter to Tetris," 9 Nov. 2018 But more have decided to stop waiting and swim across the river to enter without papers. Dara Lind, Vox, "The migrant caravan, explained," 24 Oct. 2018 Sapey was tasked with making use of open, dark spaces, including a cavernous alcove consisting of columns plastered with disembodied legs swimming up to the ceiling. Danielle Fox, ELLE Decor, "At the Nhow Marseille Hotel in France, Italian Furniture and Local Grit Lead the Design," 22 Oct. 2018 The infection occurs most commonly when people who wear contacts swim, shower, or wash their face while wearing lenses, according to a pamphlet from Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. Bartie Scott, Teen Vogue, "A Rare Eye Infection Is Spreading Among Contact Lens Wearers in the U.K.," 21 Sep. 2018 About two-dozen Harford triathletes were among the 425 participants of the four races, which included a duathlon (run, bike, run) and the aquabike (swim and bike). Bill Blewett, The Aegis, "Harford triathletes fare well at Diamond in the Rough," 12 July 2018 The impromptu photo shoot ended when one shark swam up to her and bit her left arm. Blake Bakkila, Health.com, "A Shark Took a Bite Out of This Instagram Model’s Arm While She Was Posing for a Beach Shot in the Bahamas," 11 July 2018 The national fear of shark attacks got its start some 43 years ago with the release of the movie blockbuster that unleashed the primal fear of being eaten alive while swimming. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Sharks vs. humans: At 100 million deaths against 6 each year, it's not a fair fight," 11 July 2018 As much as 6,000 tons of sunscreen a year ends up in the coral reefs in places like Hawaii, where people swim and snorkel, according to estimates by environmental groups and the World Trade Organization. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Hawaii to ban sunscreen that damages coral," 7 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Now, on summer mornings, the couple choose between a bracing dip in the fiord or a swim in their heated outdoor pool. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "Living Large in a Scandinavian Suburb," 3 Oct. 2018 On the surrounding property, guests can go fishing or take a swim in the nearby creek, grill some food on the communal patio or unwind under the stars in the hot tub. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "5 glamping destinations in the US for those who want to enjoy nature in complete comfort," 27 July 2018 The council also met in regular session Tuesday to approve the 2018-19 financial plan on first reading, and discussed raising swim center fees. Laura Groch, sandiegouniontribune.com, "How they voted, June 24," 24 June 2018 One spontaneous 1962 image by Bill Beebe captures Kennedy emerging from an ocean swim in Santa Monica, dripping with water and surrounded by giddy admirers. Richard Chang, latimes.com, "In 'American Visionary' exhibit, Bowers Museum examines JFK's youthful dynamism," 22 Mar. 2018 Earlier in Saturday's meet, Branscombe had a strong swim in the 200 free, taking third in 1:41.39. Staff Report, courant.com, "South Windsor's Branscombe Goes Out As State Open Champ," 17 Mar. 2018 Andrew arrives at a palatial house in California, strips naked and takes a swim in the pool. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Assassination of Gianni Versace Episode 6 Sees Andrew Cunanan Slowly Unravel," 1 Mar. 2018 Families with kids, all welcome, should check out the Encanto Beach Club for a series of swim and splash areas. the resort's secret aviation history. David Jefferys, Condé Nast Traveler, "Puerto Rico's Dorado Beach Is a Bit of Bali, Three Hours from Home," 12 Nov. 2018 Visits with Queen Elizabeth mix with daughter Sasha’s swim meets. Kay S. Hymowitz, WSJ, "‘Becoming’ Review: The Sound of Striving," 12 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This will be the second location in the Cincinnati area for the popular swim school franchise that specializes in teaching children ages 4 months to 12-years-old to swim. Sheila Vilvens, Cincinnati.com, "Popular swim school plans to open this fall in Anderson Township," 12 June 2018 Both victims were teammates on Brockport High School's swim team, setting a record at a 2016 meet in the 200-meter freestyle relay. Fox News, "Former teammates found dead in burned car had been shot, authorities say," 13 Sep. 2018 Enroll children who are old enough in swim lessons. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Bode and Morgan Miller Open Up About Their Daughter’s Drowning Accident in New Interview," 30 July 2018 Thursday was Draco and Kyro Alexander’s first official swim lesson. Maria Elena Vizcaino, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Children learn to swim at Aquatica as part of 'World's Largest Swim Lesson'," 21 June 2018 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

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

30 Nov 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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More from Merriam-Webster on swim

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with swim

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for swim

Spanish Central: Translation of swim

Nglish: Translation of swim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of swim for Arabic Speakers

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