\ 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Also, swing tackle Cam Erving, hampered by injuries last season, agreed to terms on a two-year deal Monday with Carolina, a source said. Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, "While the Cowboys have cap space available, their free agency track record shows they don’t know how to use it," 15 Mar. 2021 Myles Garrett, fullback Andy Janovich and swing tackle Chris Hubbard. cleveland, "Browns’ Jack Conklin and Cody Parkey activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list," 21 Nov. 2020 Two side doors swing open, with two drawers, and the top is a sliding drawer. Brenda Yenke, cleveland, "Advertising art showcased great talents: Yenke Peddler antiques," 22 Apr. 2021 Just before the 2020 presidential election, Twitter took the unprecedented step of blocking all links to the New York Post’s story that had the potential to swing the outcome of the election. Michael Lee, Washington Examiner, "Twitter features article outing police with hacked material after banning Hunter Biden story for alleged hacked materials," 17 Apr. 2021 The game starts off with Nier as a young child, but as the story wears on, his ability to swing weapons and wield magic through Weissy becomes exponentially more powerful. Washington Post, "‘Nier Replicant’ is for anyone who regrets playing ‘Automata’ first," 29 Mar. 2021 Parks & Recreation and 30 Rock had a couple politicians swing by for celebratory cameos. Darren Franich, EW.com, "The lovely Superstore series finale found the silver lining in a dark Cloud 9: Review," 26 Mar. 2021 But a new report has warned the level of pollutants will likely rise as governments lift restrictions and economies swing back into gear. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "Europe's pause on the AstraZeneca vaccine is worrying," 16 Mar. 2021 Today, those glass-and-wood doors swing open less often, with tourism choked both by U.S. sanctions meant to punish Cuba’s government and a pandemic that has squashed tourism almost everywhere. Andrea Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "Cuba’s struggling entrepreneurs look to Biden with hope," 7 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Squares feature an array of guest singers, and a repertoire that easily switches from soul to swing, from pop to funk. BostonGlobe.com, "On Brattle Street, a jazzy serenade from a bunch of Squares," 10 May 2021 After Betts walked to open the fourth and took third on Seager’s single to center, Max Muncy hit a check-swing tapper down the third-base line. Mike Digiovanna, Los Angeles Times, "A near-epic collapse overshadows Dodgers’ skid-ending victory over Angels," 9 May 2021 Mary Kay Cabot spoke with Myles Garrett’s mother, Audrey, last month for an in-depth story about raising her son and his siblings, the family’s bout with COVID-19, the helmet swing and more. cleveland, "Audrey Garrett on raising Myles Garrett, his bout with COVID-19 and more: Orange and Brown Talk Podcast," 9 May 2021 And the Republican Party cannot win swing districts where Donald Trump is still the dominating face and voice of this party. ABC News, "'This Week' Transcript 5-9-21: Anthony Fauci, Fatima Goss Graves, Diane Swonk & Lareina Yee," 9 May 2021 Along with Fats Domino and David Bartholomew among others, Price fashioned a deep, exuberant sound around the brass and swing of New Orleans jazz and blues that placed high on R&B charts and eventually crossed over to white audiences. Hillel Italie And Andrew Dalton, chicagotribune.com, "Lloyd Price, early R&B star and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, dies at 88," 8 May 2021 The debate over Trump’s potentially negative impact on swing districts is likely to escalate in the coming months, as vulnerable Republicans try to position themselves for reelection. Author: Michael Scherer, Josh Dawsey, Dan Lamothe, Anchorage Daily News, "Liz Cheney’s effort to turn Republicans from Trump threatens her reelection and ambitions. She says it’s only beginning.," 8 May 2021 The governor has regularly appeared with county executives in Westchester and Suffolk counties, which are important political swing districts. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, "Andrew Cuomo Investigation Expands as State Attorney General Looks at Aide’s Calls," 8 May 2021 Along with Fats Domino and David Bartholomew among others, Price fashioned a deep, exuberant sound around the brass and swing of New Orleans jazz and blues that placed high on R&B charts and eventually crossed over to white audiences. al, "Singer-songwriter Lloyd Price, hits include ‘Stagger Lee’ and ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy,’ dies at 88," 8 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Instead showcasing what Trump delivered for conservatives of faith, the Rose Garden gathering was a snapshot of his crumbling support among swing Christian voters. Jayme Fraser, USA TODAY, "Trump delivered his SCOTUS promise, but his pandemic response cost him support among Christians," 19 Oct. 2020 With Democratic nominee Joe Biden continuing to lead in national and swing-state polls, President Trump remains vulnerable to win a second term in the White House. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Big GOP donors step in to help Republicans' hold onto Senate majority," 23 Oct. 2020 But as another round of national and swing-state polls show the president trailing Democratic challenger Joe Biden, some are questioning the strategy behind boosting Trump’s appeal with voters who are already likely to be in his camp. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "Trump, trailing in polls, bets on his base," 8 Oct. 2020 Both campaigned in Minnesota this month as early voting got underway, made major advertising buys and dispatched high-profile surrogates as Trump seeks to expand the electoral map against Biden’s persistent lead in national and swing-state polls. Patrick Condon, Star Tribune, "Minnesota Poll: Joe Biden hangs on to lead over Donald Trump in presidential race," 26 Sep. 2020 Both campaigns are firing off mailers and airing television ads that cranked up the volume of the race to something more like the shrill fury of a swing Congressional district. Andrew Oxford, The Arizona Republic, "Disgraced ex-lawmaker David Stringer seeks 2nd chance from Yavapai County voters in primary," 2 Aug. 2020 The co-signers say Biden is already strong with voters in swing Midwestern states and with voters of color. Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY, "More than 100 liberal activists urge Joe Biden to pick Elizabeth Warren as VP in letter," 16 June 2020 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

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


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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Time Traveler for swing

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for swing

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Swing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swing. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for swing



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



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



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


\ 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

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