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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Gun purchases tend to swing upward during times of emergency, according to a New York Times report. Fox News, "FBI firearm background checks for April surge amid spike in gun sales," 5 May 2020 For instance, batters would know to swing early if a fastball was coming — or sit back and judge the location for a breaking ball or changeup. NBC News, "Red Sox stripped of draft pick over 2018 sign-stealing scandal," 22 Apr. 2020 Some of that is rooted in me watching it and proceeding to order spicy chicken strips on UberEats later that night anyway — wondering upon its arrival if the person who fried this chicken for me wanted to swing on me, too. Michael Arceneaux, Essence, "If Workers Are So Essential, Pay Them Like It," 21 Apr. 2020 There was barely room to swing a cat, let alone a car. Itxu Díaz, National Review, "God Isn’t Dead After All," 11 Apr. 2020 Perhaps the most fundamental part of the game is how to swing the bat. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "The Home Run Revolution," 21 Mar. 2020 Unlike Integrity, Bluegrass extended an open invitation for anyone to swing by and request testing, although not everyone who asked for a test got one. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "'We're at the front line': Drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites popping up around the area," 20 Mar. 2020 Many analysts say markets will continue to swing sharply until the number of new infections stops accelerating. Stan Choe, Time, "Dow Drops 5.9% Amid Ongoing COVID-19 Fears," 11 Mar. 2020 Many analysts say financial markets will continue to swing sharply until the number of new infections stops accelerating. Author: Stan Choe, Damian J. Troise, Alex Veiga, Anchorage Daily News, "Dow index tumbles into bear market as coronavirus fears intensify," 11 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Internal Trump campaign polling shows that Trump is losing ground in swing states, according to a person involved in the reelection campaign who requested anonymity to discuss strategy and data. Los Angeles Times, "Trump’s new 2020 message — it’s not my fault," 8 May 2020 Their first few notes on the piano might as well be Mozart-quality, and those first successful swings in front of a T-ball set might as well qualify their kiddos for Major League Baseball. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "Mother's Day looks different this year. How these Kentuckians are still celebrating mom," 6 May 2020 President Donald Trump’s tweets are increasingly driving swings in the $25 trillion market for using options to bet on U.S. interest rates. Julia-ambra Verlaine, WSJ, "Presidential Tweets Drive Volatility in Interest-Rate Options," 4 May 2020 Many more are losing millions in ticket sales after sports seasons were cut short, and some have lost big shares of their endowments amid swings in the stock market. Time, "Harvard to Turn Down $8.7 Million in Federal Coronavirus Relief After Trump's Criticism," 22 Apr. 2020 Every few years, natural swings in the ocean can lead to such a warming, drastically altering weather on land—and setting the stage for flooding rains in East Africa. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "How a team of scientists studying drought helped build the world’s leading famine prediction model," 15 Apr. 2020 Many schools are losing millions more in ticket sales after athletic seasons were cut short, and some say huge shares of their reserves have been wiped out amid wild swings in the stock market. Bollin Binkley And Jeff Amy, The Christian Science Monitor, "Colleges fight to survive coronavirus financial hit," 7 Apr. 2020 Ordinary enthusiasts play The Show to virtually throw pitches and take swings in competition against the computer, one another and strangers online. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants’ Gabe Kapler playing popular videogame to help stay in managerial shape," 1 Apr. 2020 Many professional investors expect the market's big swings in both directions to continue until health experts get the new coronavirus in check. Author: Stan Choe, Anchorage Daily News, "Stocks close up more than 5% as Trump promises to ‘go big’ on virus aid," 17 Mar. 2020 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about swing

Time Traveler for swing

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for swing

Last Updated

12 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Swing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swing. Accessed 25 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for swing

swing

verb
How to pronounce swing (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on swing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for swing

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

Comments on swing

What made you want to look up swing? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!