\ ˈswīp How to pronounce swipe (audio) \
plural swipes

Definition of swipe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a strong sweeping blow a swipe of a paw … he took a swipe at the ball before it stopped moving, a two stroke penalty.— Ken Fidlin
b : a sliding gesture (as across the touch screen of a mobile device) In this day and age, with information available at the push of a button or a swipe, Avdeev's situation is remarkable and rare.— Christopher Miller Vividly colored orbs appear from time to time, sometimes slowly, often in a mad rush, and seemingly at random. You can move them around with a finger swipe— David Price
2 : a sharp often critical remark took a parting swipe at management Below the picture, the text took a swipe at Perdue's claims …— Thomas Whiteside


swiped; swiping; swipes

Definition of swipe (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to strike or move with a sweeping motion Among carnivores like the great cats, wolves and hyenas, cubs pretend to capture prey: stalking, pouncing, biting, swiping at objects with claws extended.— Natalie Angier
2 : to operate something (such as a function on a mobile device) by sliding one's finger while pressing against a touch screen On the plus side, it does come with extra large icons on the home screen, and a button bar that you swipe up from the bottom for easy access to video tutorials, troubleshooting tools and 24/7 phone support.— Jennifer Jolly

transitive verb

1 : to strike or wipe (something or someone) with a sweeping motion Pallone mimicked Rose's gestures in rebuttal—and, perhaps inadvertently, swiped Rose on the cheek near his left eye.— Steve Wulf One model boasted a small rectangular "rest" that kept the head from touching the counter when it was laid down and also sported a useful notch for swiping the rim of a jar or bowl.— Lisa McManus
2 : to activate or control (something) with a swiping gesture Tinder allows users to swipe their phone screen to the right when they see a picture of someone they like. …The Mercury (South Africa)
3 : steal, pilfer In a jailhouse interview in Russia, a former uranium worker explains why he swiped nuclear material to sell: He needed money for a new fridge and stove.— David Corn
4 : to slide (a card with a magnetic strip or bar code) through a slot in a reading device so that information contained in the strip or code can be processed (as in making a purchase) Instead of swiping your credit card, or inserting its chip to complete the payment process, contactless technology lets you make a purchase by placing or hovering your card or phone near a payment terminal, a.k.a. the credit card machine.— Geoffrey Morrison

Examples of swipe in a Sentence

Noun She took a swipe at her former company in her latest column. a swipe of the cat's paw Verb The cat swiped the dog across the nose. They swiped some candy from the store. The cashier swiped the credit card and gave it back to me.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Also known as a once swipe wonder, this eyeshadow stick is perfect for minimalists, lazy ladies, and people who just want a quick, no-fuss beauty routine. ELLE, 22 June 2022 In rescinding his endorsement, Trump also took a Trump-like swipe at Brooks' standing in the polls. Rick Klein, ABC News, 21 June 2022 Even the dating scene has been entirely reimagined by data with the pursuit of a significant other boiled down a swipe left or right. Rachel Yarcony, Forbes, 16 June 2022 The simple wash of silver shadow is easy to execute at home, so put on your best Euphoria outfit and a bit of eye primer and swipe on the golden, pearly, or silver shade of your dreams for your next night out. Seventeen, 14 June 2022 The wipes are also alcohol-, sulfate-, paraben-, and phthalate-free for a totally clean swipe. Elizabeth Berry And Samantha Lawyer, Woman's Day, 13 June 2022 Unfortunately, the audio versions of Pratchett’s oeuvre to date have been inconsistent in quality, holdovers from a time before audiobooks were a phone swipe away. Sebastian Modak, New York Times, 11 June 2022 Some American chefs have also taken a swipe at the idea of California cuisine, describing it as akin to a lack of creativity. Los Angeles Times, 9 June 2022 In Comfort mode, the car is a perfectly delightful highway cruiser, though a quick swipe of the central touchscreen unleashes Mr. Hyde. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 1 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To smell like a tropical cocktail, swipe one or two strokes of product under your arms for long-lasting protection. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 June 2022 Choose from three barely-there, translucent shades, and swipe this genius product on every day for nourishing protection that works double duty as both sunscreen and skincare in one. Jennifer Chan, PEOPLE.com, 7 June 2022 During his 100-minute tour de force, even Trump did not take time to swipe at Romney, a frequent punching bag for the former president. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 29 May 2022 Stephen Garcia said Salvador Rolando Ramos often used the Yubo app, a platform where users can swipe on each other’s profile, Tinder-style, or hang out in live-streaming rooms and virtually ‘meet’ other users by playing games and chatting with them. Andrew Jeong, Washington Post, 26 May 2022 Foxwoods Rewards members who choose the right time to swipe their Rewards card at one of the promotions kiosks. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, 16 Feb. 2022 Offices in 10 major U.S. cities are about 43% full, near a pandemic-era peak, according to data from Kastle Systems, which tracks how many people swipe into buildings. Alexandra Bruell, WSJ, 18 May 2022 Basically, planetary conjunction, like the upcoming Jupiter-Venus conjunction, is just when two planets appear to collide or swipe past each other in the sky. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 28 Apr. 2022 Even the interface reads younger, with eye-catching colors, interactive features, and a curated set of job matches that users can swipe through like a dating app. Chloe Berger, Fortune, 7 Feb. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of swipe


1788, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1825, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for swipe


probably alteration of sweep

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Last Updated

26 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Swipe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swipe. Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for swipe


\ ˈswīp How to pronounce swipe (audio) \

Kids Definition of swipe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a strong sweeping movement He took a swipe at the ball.


swiped; swiping

Kids Definition of swipe (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : steal entry 1 sense 1 No, she wouldn't swipe Christmas greens from a graveyard …— Richard Peck, A Year Down Yonder
2 : to make a strong sweeping movement The cat swiped at the dog.

More from Merriam-Webster on swipe

Nglish: Translation of swipe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of swipe for Arabic Speakers


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