\ ˈswiŋ How to pronounce swing (audio) \
swung\ ˈswəŋ How to pronounce swing (audio) \; swinging\ ˈswiŋ-​iŋ How to pronounce swing (audio) \

Definition of swing

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to cause to move vigorously through a wide arc or circle swing an ax
b : to cause to sway to and fro
c(1) : to cause to turn on an axis
(2) : to cause to face or move in another direction swing the car into a side road
2 : to suspend so as to permit swaying or turning
3 : to convey by suspension cranes swinging cargo into the ship's hold
4a(1) : to influence decisively swing a lot of votes
(2) : to bring around by influence
b : to handle successfully : manage wasn't able to swing a new car on his income swing a deal
5 : to play or sing (something, such as a melody) in the style of swing music

intransitive verb

1 : to move freely to and fro especially in suspension from an overhead support
2a : to die by hanging
b : to hang freely from a support
3 : to move in or describe a circle or arc:
a : to turn on a hinge or pivot
b : to turn in place
c : to convey oneself by grasping a fixed support swing aboard the train
4a : to have a steady pulsing rhythm
b : to play or sing with a lively compelling rhythm specifically : to play swing music
5 : to shift or fluctuate from one condition, form, position, or object of attention or favor to another swing constantly from optimism to pessimism and back— Sinclair Lewis
6a : to move along rhythmically
b : to start up in a smooth vigorous manner ready to swing into action
7 : to hit or aim at something with a sweeping arm movement
8a : to be lively, exciting, and up-to-date
b : to engage freely in sex



Definition of swing (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : an act or instance of swinging : swinging movement: such as
a(1) : a stroke or blow delivered with a sweeping arm movement a batter with a powerful swing
(2) : a sweeping or rhythmic movement of the body or a bodily part
(3) : a dance figure in which two dancers revolve with joined arms or hands
(4) : jazz dancing in moderate tempo with a lilting syncopation
b(1) : the regular movement of a freely suspended object (such as a pendulum) along an arc and back
(2) : back and forth sweep the swing of the tides
c(1) : steady pulsing rhythm (as in poetry or music)
(2) : a steady vigorous movement characterizing an activity or creative work
d(1) : a trend toward a high or low point in a fluctuating cycle (as of business activity)
(2) : an often periodic shift from one condition, form, position, or object of attention or favor to another
2a : liberty of action
b(1) : the driving power of something swung or hurled
(2) : steady vigorous advance : driving speed a train approaching at full swing
3 : the progression of an activity, process, or phase of existence the work is in full swing
4 : the arc or range through which something swings
5 : something that swings freely from or on a support especially : a seat suspended by a rope or chains for swinging to and fro on for pleasure
6a : a curving course or outline
b : a course from and back to a point : a circular tour
7 : jazz that is played (as by a big band) with a steady beat and that uses the harmonic structures of popular songs and the blues as a basis for improvisations and arrangements
8 : a short pass in football thrown to a back running to the outside



Definition of swing (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of or relating to musical swing a swing band swing music swing dancing
2 : that may swing often decisively either way on an issue or in an election swing voters a swing state

Choose the Right Synonym for swing


swing, wave, flourish, brandish, thrash mean to wield or cause to move to and fro or up and down. swing implies regular or uniform movement. swing the rope back and forth wave usually implies smooth or continuous motion. waving the flag flourish suggests vigorous, ostentatious, graceful movement. flourished the winning lottery ticket brandish implies threatening or menacing motion. brandishing a knife thrash suggests vigorous, abrupt, violent movement. an infant thrashing his arms about

swing, sway, oscillate, vibrate, fluctuate, waver, undulate mean to move from one direction to its opposite. swing implies a movement of something attached at one end or one side. the door suddenly swung open sway implies a slow swinging or teetering movement. trees swaying in the breeze oscillate stresses a usually regular alternation of direction. an oscillating fan vibrate suggests the rapid oscillation of an elastic body under stress or impact. the vibrating strings of a piano fluctuate suggests constant irregular changes of level, intensity, or value. fluctuating interest rates waver stresses irregular motion suggestive of reeling or tottering. the exhausted runner wavered before collapsing undulate suggests a gentle wavelike motion. an undulating sea of grass

Examples of swing in a Sentence

Verb The sheets swung on the clothesline. The clock's pendulum stopped swinging. She sat on the edge of the table, swinging her legs. The monkeys were swinging from branch to branch high up in the trees. I swung my suitcase into the backseat of the car. She sat on the counter and swung her legs over to the other side. She swung the door open. Be careful how you swing that ax. She swung the bat but missed the ball. She swung her purse at me. Noun One swing of the hammer was all it took to drive the nail through the board. the swing of a pendulum upward swings in the stock market The kids were playing on the swings. We sat on the porch swing and watched the neighbors. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Doing so would swing home court advantage in their favor. Xl Media, cleveland, 3 May 2022 Even cryptocurrencies fall into corrections, although their prices tend to swing much more wildly than stock market indexes. Nigel Chiwaya, NBC News, 25 Jan. 2022 With their share counts more or less fixed, their shares tend to swing above and below the per-share value of their portfolios—and most CEFs trade at discounts! Michael Foster, Forbes, 19 Oct. 2021 School boards from Southlake, Texas, to Smithtown, Long Island, are seeing elections that have resulted in new members who represent singular moral viewpoints that tend to swing away from mask mandates and culturally responsive teaching. Jennifer Wolfe, CNN, 14 Oct. 2021 The woman attempted to console the baby, which enraged the girlfriend, who began to swing at the woman. cleveland, 25 Feb. 2022 In an area called the School Room, Chapko demonstrated how to kick our crampons into the ice, then swiftly swing one ice ax at a time overhead. Jen Murphy, Travel + Leisure, 2 Jan. 2022 For the most part, though, National League pitchers come to the plate, see a few pitches and sometimes feebly swing at them. New York Times, 29 Oct. 2021 The Red Sox know how to swing their bat at big times for big results, that’s clear this regular and post season. BostonGlobe.com, 19 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun One inning later, the Tigers tacked on their third run with a power swing. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 10 May 2022 With one swing of the bat, St. Xavier catcher Jake Bennett turned into a hero last week. J.l. Kirven, The Courier-Journal, 29 Apr. 2022 Scouts wanted to see the Tulane freshman with the unique swing, the one who hit .372 with 52 RBIs and 10 home runs in 2019. Andy Kostka, Baltimore Sun, 23 Apr. 2022 This will bring a quick uptick in temperatures with a more than 10-degree swing from Tuesday’s high to Wednesday. oregonlive, 5 Apr. 2022 Now, that vaunted depth is dinged just a little bit, this in a spring during which Bellinger is again searching for continuity with a swing that produced the 2019 NL MVP award. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 1 Apr. 2022 Politically, the rise of a climate conscious agenda is coalescing with a swing to the left across the region that is reminiscent of the early years of the 21st century. Andrew Rosati, Bloomberg.com, 11 Mar. 2022 The winning party carried independents by double-digit margins in each recent year with a big congressional swing: the major Democratic gains in 2006 and 2018 and the Republican sweeps in 1994, 2010 and 2014, exit polls found. Ronald Brownstein, CNN, 8 Mar. 2022 Like that day in college so many years ago, Barr bided his time before taking one last swing. Washington Post, 1 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Velasquez got Trevor Story on a check-swing third strike to end the inning, putting him in position to pick up the win. Lamond Pope, Chicago Tribune, 6 May 2022 The high-speed Ion3 camera captures club and ball launch data at the point of impact and also records an HD video of the club through the impact zone for post-swing analysis. Shaun Tolson, Robb Report, 3 May 2022 Adell simplified his pre-swing approach by removing excess movement and shortened his path to the ball, resulting in better plate discipline and more consistent contact. Mike Digiovannastaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 23 Mar. 2022 Max Scherzer, with no prior saves to his professional resume, closed out the game, ending it on a controversial check-swing third strike against Wilmer Flores that replays showed to be incorrect. Los Angeles Times, 23 Oct. 2021 Jose Altuve followed with a bloop hit before Iglesias got Jose Siri on a check-swing third strike to stop Houston's four-game winning streak. Joe Reedy, Chron, 24 Sep. 2021 Yes on the recall was winning in a number of swing congressional districts in Orange County, according to the Cook Political Report's Dave Wasserman. Harry Enten, CNN, 18 Sep. 2021 And while Republicans in swing Congressional districts have branded Pelosi as evil, Democrats adore her and resented Moulton’s challenge. BostonGlobe.com, 25 Aug. 2021 Miguel Rojas was ejected in the third inning after confronting first-base umpire Mark Carlson, who ruled Rojas had gone around on a check-swing third strike. Dennis Georgatos, sun-sentinel.com, 8 Aug. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of swing


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1933, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for swing


Middle English, to beat, fling, hurl, rush, from Old English swingan to beat, fling oneself, rush; akin to Old High German swingan to fling, rush

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The first known use of swing was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Swing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swing. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for swing


\ ˈswiŋ How to pronounce swing (audio) \
swung\ ˈswəŋ \; swinging

Kids Definition of swing

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to move rapidly in a sweeping curve I swung the bat.
2 : to turn on a hinge or pivot The door swung open.
3 : to move with a curving motion Monkeys can swing from branch to branch. She swung her legs up on the bed.
4 : to turn or move quickly in a particular direction He swung the light in the direction of the noise.
5 : to move back and forth or from side to side while hanging from a fixed point Sheets swung on the clothes line.
6 : to move back and forth in or on a swing
7 : to manage or handle successfully I'll work two jobs if I can swing it.



Kids Definition of swing (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a seat usually hung by overhead ropes and used to move back and forth
2 : an act of moving something (as a bat) rapidly in a sweeping curve
3 : a sweeping movement, blow, or rhythm
4 : the distance through which something sways to and fro The class measured the swing of a pendulum.
5 : a style of jazz marked by lively rhythm and played mostly for dancing

More from Merriam-Webster on swing

Nglish: Translation of swing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of swing for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about swing


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