swish

verb
\ ˈswish How to pronounce swish (audio) \
swished; swishing; swishes

Definition of swish

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to move, pass, swing, or whirl with the sound of a swish

transitive verb

1 : to move, cut, or strike with a swish the horse swished its tail
2 : to make (a basketball shot) so that the ball falls through the rim without touching it swished a 3-point jumper

swish

noun

Definition of swish (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : a prolonged hissing sound (as of a whip cutting the air)
b : a light sweeping or brushing sound
2 : a swishing movement
3 slang, usually disparaging + offensive : an effeminate homosexual

swish

adjective

Definition of swish (Entry 3 of 3)

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Other Words from swish

Verb

swisher noun
swishingly \ ˈswi-​shiŋ-​lē How to pronounce swishingly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for swish

Synonyms: Verb

fizz, fizzle, hiss, sizzle, whish, whiz (or whizz)

Synonyms: Noun

fizz, hiss, sizzle, whish, whiz (or whizz)

Synonyms: Adjective

à la mode (also a la mode), au courant, chic, cool [slang], exclusive, fashionable, fresh [slang], happening, hip, in, modish, sharp, smart, snappy, stylish, supercool, swell, trendy, voguish

Antonyms: Adjective

dowdy, out, outmoded, styleless, unchic, uncool, unfashionable, unmodish, unstylish

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Examples of swish in a Sentence

Verb

He watched as the windshield wipers swished back and forth. The horse's tail swished back and forth. The horse swished its tail back and forth.

Noun

the steady swish of the windshield wipers the mare brushed away the flies with a sweeping swish of her tail

Adjective

a trendy boutique filled with swish accessories for the urban fashionista
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kansas State’s Mike McGuirl swished a corner three and tumbled as Creighton’s Marcus Foster committed the foul. Blair Kerkhoff, kansascity, "The Dean Wade-less Wildcats emphatically find way to victory | The Kansas City Star," 16 Mar. 2018 At one point, things were going so well for the Retrievers that one of their players was fouled and threw up a wild 30-foot runner after the whistle and swished. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "Don't get too excited, ACC fans – even with the upset, Virginia is still Virginia," 17 Mar. 2018 Thompson, long Curry’s partner in crime, cooperated by swishing the three-ball. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "Sidelined Stephen Curry inspires Warriors teammates as team cheerleader," 18 Apr. 2018 Things were ominous from the get-go Saturday as Davis opened the game by swishing an 18-footer and McCollum followed by bricking a three-pointer. Joe Freeman, OregonLive.com, "New Orleans Pelicans' stars outshine Trail Blazers' stars to steal Game 1 of Western Conference Playoffs," 15 Apr. 2018 Then swish it around like mouthwash and spit it out. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "11 Surprising Ways to Use Your Baking Soda," 6 Mar. 2019 The pleated green tartan kilt Ms. Plath wore as a Smith College undergraduate, with blue-lettered name tape affixed to the waistband, swished home with A.N. Devers, a writer and rare-books dealer based in North London, for $3,012. Kate Bolick, New York Times, "Who Bought Sylvia Plath’s Stuff?," 21 Apr. 2018 But Embiid gathered the offensive rebound and swished a 14-foot fadeaway jumper off his left leg. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Orlando Magic lose to Philadelphia 76ers 116-105," 25 Feb. 2018 As shallowly as they’re drawn, though, the women, swishing in and out during the sittings, disrupt the movie’s stuffy atmosphere and enliven production designer James Merifield’s somewhat finicky aesthetic. Jeannette Catsoulis, kansascity, "‘Final Portrait’ draws a fuzzy picture of an artist | The Kansas City Star," 18 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After Kyle Korver of the Cavaliers missed an open 3-pointer, Durant spotted up from the top of the arc — swish — for a 114-113 lead. Scott Cacciola, New York Times, "Late Surge Puts Warriors One Step From Postseason Perfection," 8 June 2017 That goes especially for star Johnny Depp, whose Captain Jack Sparrow remains an unchanging and buffoonish blend of swash and swish. Robert W. Butler, kansascity.com, "That sinking feeling: ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5’," 24 May 2017 Swish swish sounds like it is written by 8 yr old kid or Donald Trump. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Watch Katy Perry Finally Explain Taylor Swift Beef, Sing 'Swish, Swish' & More Hits in 'Carpool Karaoke'," 23 May 2017 In a hurricane, those waves can come in quick, short bursts as powerful thunderstorms around the storm’s eye wall swish air up and down like a plunger in a toilet bowl. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, "UM researchers find new way to measure hurricanes: ‘gravity waves’," 17 May 2017 The swish was almost inevitable from the area of the court that is his sweet spot. Bill Livingston, cleveland.com, "Kyrie Irving's late burst shows Cleveland Cavaliers' firepower: Bill Livingston (photos, video)," 8 May 2017 The icing on the cake was the little details that matter: the follow through, the curling down of fingers, the backspin, the holding of the follow through — and of course, the swish. Mirin Fader, Orange County Register, "Baker relishes scoring role for Capistrano Valley," 1 Feb. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Opened in 2005 but relocated into a new space just last year, a maze of secluded booths and private dining rooms unfolds beyond the swish black marble counter wrapping the open kitchen that diners first encounter upon entering. Davey Young, Condé Nast Traveler, "What To Do in Shibuya: Our Guide," 5 Mar. 2018 This week’s openings Branzino | Rittenhouse Luan Toto’s swish Italian BYOB is back at 261 S. 17th St., two years after a fire. Michael Klein, Philly.com, "Let's Eat: Smile and order lunch," 4 Apr. 2018 At night, a few would wait outside a swish restaurant in my neighborhood. Lane Hartill, The Christian Science Monitor, "A journey from distrust to teammates," 4 Apr. 2018 More: Michigan basketball's miracle win steeped in swag, ended in swishRobinson was on the bench after fouling out against Houston, when Jordan Poole hit a miraculous 3-pointer. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball: Duncan Robinson's defense put to test in Sweet 16," 22 Mar. 2018 Manhattan’s hospitals, with their swish reception desks and menus, can seem like hotels compared with London’s bleached Victorian structures. The Economist, "Which firms profit most from America’s health-care system," 15 Mar. 2018 The Best All-Arounder Surface Laptop (i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD), $1,299 This device isn't as swish as the transforming, flexible computers that made the Surface brand famous, but bear with me for a second. Wired Staff, WIRED, "Which Microsoft Surface Should You Buy?," 14 Mar. 2018 Previously, Vidi himself operated Frederick’s, a swish Italian supper club, on the site for two dozen years. Michael Klein, Philly.com, "Kanella South's space is being offered for rent," 28 Feb. 2018 If a toothbrush and toothpaste aren’t readily available, swish and rinse teeth thoroughly with water. Michael Suchar, Philly.com, "3 tips from a dentist to keep Valentine's Day sweet for kids' teeth," 13 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'swish.' 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 swish

Verb

1756, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

1820, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1766, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for swish

Verb

imitative

Adjective

origin unknown

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Learn More about swish

Dictionary Entries near swish

swirl

swirler

swirly

swish

swish cymbal

swishy

Swiss

Statistics for swish

Last Updated

1 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for swish

The first known use of swish was in 1756

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More Definitions for swish

swish

verb

English Language Learners Definition of swish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move with or cause (something) to move with a soft sweeping or brushing sound

swish

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of swish (Entry 2 of 2)

British, informal : fashionable and expensive

swish

verb
\ ˈswish How to pronounce swish (audio) \
swished; swishing

Kids Definition of swish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make, move, or strike with a soft sweeping or brushing sound The horse swished its tail.

swish

noun

Kids Definition of swish (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a soft sweeping or brushing sound
2 : a movement that produces a sweeping or brushing sound

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More from Merriam-Webster on swish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with swish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for swish

Spanish Central: Translation of swish

Nglish: Translation of swish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of swish for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about swish

Comments on swish

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