1 of 2


swiv·​el ˈswi-vəl How to pronounce swivel (audio)
often attributive
: a device joining two parts so that one or both can pivot freely (as on a bolt or pin)


2 of 2


swiveled or swivelled; swiveling or swivelling ˈswi-və-liŋ How to pronounce swivel (audio)

transitive verb

: to turn on or as if on a swivel
swiveled his eyes in various directions

intransitive verb

: to swing or turn on or as if on a swivel

Examples of swivel in a Sentence

Noun The gun was mounted on a swivel. Verb She swiveled in her seat to check the time. She swiveled the chair around to face us.
Recent Examples on the Web
The chair can recline back up to 150 degrees with the push back mechanism (the foot support board makes this even better) and offers a convenient 360-degree swivel. Kristina McGuirk, Better Homes & Gardens, 31 Oct. 2023 Keep your head on a swivel, looking for visual indicators like white spots beneath the surface or isolated cover above the water. Shaye Baker, Field & Stream, 6 Mar. 2024 In soft cream fabric suitable for any interior design style, The Drew Chair also features three accent pillows and a 360-degree swivel base. Hannah Chubb, Peoplemag, 1 Mar. 2024 The 11-foot swivel cord allows for use anywhere, like standing in the bathroom while peeking outside the door to check on your 4-year-old, speaking from personal experience. Katrina Cossey, Parents, 1 Mar. 2024 Trends evolve, so keep your head on a swivel for new developments, and best of luck in the coming year. Jennifer Chase, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 That’s nothing new to interior designer Vickie Hafer, who has seen the trend of curved furniture come full swivel this season. Charlotte Observer, 1 Feb. 2024 For starters, the mop head swivels and tilts in every direction, making mopping your floors less of a chore. Nor'adila Hepburn, Southern Living, 18 Jan. 2024 Thanks to swivel steering, the machine is easy to maneuver around furniture and tight corners. Isabel Garcia, Peoplemag, 17 Dec. 2023
As defined in the NFL rule book, a hip-drop tackle is when a defender grabs the runner with both hands or wraps him with both arms, then drags down the offensive player by swiveling and dropping his hips and/or lower body. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 26 Mar. 2024 The Brazilian swiveled and fired past Kelleher on his right foot to score only his second goal of the season and tie the game at 2-2. Sam Joseph, CNN, 17 Mar. 2024 The solid basic is easy to use, swivels smoothly, and scrubs nicely. Ella Field, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 Mar. 2024 The company’s Hot Water Conservation Kit includes a massage shower head, a kitchen swivel faucet aerator, a bathroom faucet aerator, pipe insulation, a shower timer and a hot water temperature card for your water heater. Laura Daily, Washington Post, 9 Mar. 2024 The ThinkBook 14 2-in-1 Gen 4 is more for on-the-go laptop users who occasionally want to swivel to hide their keyboard. Florence Ion / Gizmodo, Quartz, 26 Feb. 2024 With only the lower unit swiveling for steering, the boat retains a clean, uncluttered profile. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 23 Feb. 2024 What’s more, the vacuum’s swiveling head has a tangle-resistant brush roll that easily whips up hair without knotting or clogging. Clara McMahon, Peoplemag, 22 Feb. 2024 Colli, 76, liked swiveling in a chair to get a panoramic view. Terry Spencer, Fortune, 19 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'swivel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English; akin to Old English swīfan to revolve, Old High German swebōn to roll, heave

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1775, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of swivel was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near swivel

Cite this Entry

“Swivel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swivel. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
swiv·​el ˈswiv-əl How to pronounce swivel (audio)
: a device joining two parts so that one or both can turn freely


2 of 2 verb
swiveled or swivelled; swiveling or swivelling
: to turn on or as if on a swivel

More from Merriam-Webster on swivel

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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