swing

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

swing

noun

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

swing

adjective

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

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Choose the Right Synonym for swing

Verb

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For those who can swing it, the crossover appeal is clear. Vogue, "Balmain’s Exuberant-As-Ever Pre-Fall 2019 Menswear Channels Pop Icons and The Little Prince," 14 Nov. 2018 Wyoming’s Teton mountains on the horizon are also inflated, and Berann swung them around to the east to reveal the most iconic view of the range rather than the end-on view that would exist from the viewer’s vantage point in real life. Betsy Mason, National Geographic, "Gorgeous Panoramic Paintings of National Parks Now Online," 28 June 2018 But even in swinging London there are bastions of resistance, like the closed drawing rooms of the traditional gentlemen’s clubs, for those who enjoy reading the Daily Telegraph while taking their morning tea. Janine Di Giovanni, Town & Country, "Is Brexit Ruining London Dinner Parties?," 25 Feb. 2019 The left-handed hitting Narvaez would be the primary catcher, but the Mariners would like to add a veteran catcher that swings right-handed and is also a plus defender. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "Mariners still looking to add another right-handed hitting catcher," 20 Feb. 2019 Police officers could be seen swinging flashlight beams on the sidewalk behind the police tape outside of police headquarters early Sunday morning. BostonGlobe.com, "Man injured in shooting near Boston Police Headquarters," 8 July 2018 Two factors are believed to have eventually swung the narrow passage of the stadium measure. Larry Stone, The Seattle Times, "Paul Allen was a knight in shining armor for the Seahawks and Seattle," 15 Oct. 2018 But the majority of buyers aren't able to swing such steep price tags in today's housing market. Taylor Jade Powell, Cincinnati.com, "3 headlines: Cincy's most expensive home, Chucky the groundhog and zoo animals keep cool," 3 July 2018 For some players, graphics and trying on championship rings can be powerful things that can swing a recruitment. Bill Landis, cleveland.com, "How Zach Harrison's unique recruitment forced programs like Ohio State to change the way they chase five-stars," 15 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The expectations of calm are a shift from last year, when outsize price swings in U.S. government bonds triggered tumult in other markets. Gunjan Banerji, WSJ, "Calm Blankets Markets From Stocks to Bonds, Even as Risks Remain," 22 Feb. 2019 The island, which was badly battered by Hurricane Irma, is now in full swing. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "The Best Room At ... Le Sereno St. Barts," 1 Feb. 2019 As with most landscaping projects, success is dependent on getting a head start before the growing season is in full swing. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Get Your Lawn Ready for Spring," 22 Jan. 2019 Launched in June, Apple’s Midterm Elections project is already in full swing. Casey Newton, The Verge, "One way Twitter’s ad archive improves on Facebook’s," 3 Nov. 2018 Price swings are fun for speculators, but of no use to ordinary people trying to purchase T-shirts (or drugs, more likely) online. Maya Kosoff, The Hive, "Has Bitcoin Entered the Doom Loop?," 29 June 2018 To insulate itself from price swings, Coinbase is diversifying beyond the brokerage business. The Economist, "A disciplined startup emerges from the Wild West of crypto-currency," 28 June 2018 Some of that was specifically attributed to bets placed on price swings leading up to the referendum. Cam Simpson, Bloomberg.com, "Brexit’s Big Short: How Pollsters Helped Hedge Funds Beat the Crash," 25 June 2018 And the sisters' matching curly hair is beyond cute: Over the weekend, Kim also shared a sweet snap of baby Chicago enjoying some time on a swing. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian's Daughters, North & Chicago, Look Just Like Her in This Photo," 18 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The party official also shared with Vox internal monitoring reports indicating a high volume of malicious Twitter handles targeting two swing races key to Democratic efforts to retake the House. Benjamin Wofford, Vox, "The midterms are already hacked. You just don’t know it yet.," 25 Oct. 2018 And Pompeo may play a swing role, a hard-line former congressman and CIA director who, in his new job, seems determined to give diplomacy a fair shot. Mark Lander, BostonGlobe.com, "Clashing views on Iran reflect a new balance of power in the cabinet," 12 May 2018 The University of South Alabama softball team will close out its 10-game road swing Wednesday night when the Jaguars travel to take on regional rival Southern Mississippi. Usa Athletic Media Relations, AL.com, "South Alabama softball closes out 10-game road swing at Southern Miss on Wednesday," 6 Mar. 2018 The University of South Alabama will continue its current 10-game road swing Wednesday night as the Jaguars travel to take on in-state rival UAB. Usa Athletic Media Relations, AL.com, "South Alabama softball continues 10-game road swing at UAB Wednesday," 27 Feb. 2018 But others in the party — most significantly, a half-dozen senators running for re-election in Democratic and swing states — face a tougher choice. Alexander Burns, New York Times, "Trump changes the game for Sanders," 4 May 2016

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.

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First Known Use of swing

Verb

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1933, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for swing

Verb

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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Statistics for swing

Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for swing

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

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More Definitions for swing

swing

verb

English Language Learners Definition of swing

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to move backward and forward or from side to side while hanging from something
: to move with a smooth, curving motion
: to move (your arm, a tool, etc.) with a quick, curving motion especially to try to hit something

swing

noun

English Language Learners Definition of swing (Entry 2 of 3)

: an act of moving something with a quick, sweeping motion : an act of swinging a bat, fist, etc.
: the movement of something that swings backward and forward or from side to side
: a usually sudden change from one state or condition to another

swing

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of swing (Entry 3 of 3)

: of or relating to the style of jazz music called swing
: not certain to vote for a particular candidate or party in an election and therefore often able to decide the result of the election

swing

verb
\ 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.

swing

noun

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on swing

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with swing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for swing

Spanish Central: Translation of 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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