noun, often attributive
swiv·​el | \ ˈswi-vəl How to pronounce swivel (audio) \

Definition of swivel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a device joining two parts so that one or both can pivot freely (as on a bolt or pin)


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

Definition of swivel (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Synonyms for swivel

Synonyms: Verb

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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: Noun The Hoover Windtunnel Air vacuum is designed to easily move around your home with a swivel steering mechanism. Lindsey Greenfeld, PEOPLE.com, 21 Mar. 2022 But earlier this year, King and Burnham made heads swivel with a photo montage of themselves, bassist Sara Lee and guitarist Dave Pajo posted on the Gang of Four social media platforms. Jason Pettigrew, SPIN, 3 Mar. 2022 Today, chair arms do more than go up and down, and instead, allow the arm rests to swivel left and right. Forbes, 19 Oct. 2021 The shift brought consumers just a few direct messages away from scoring the teak bar cart or 1980s swivel pouf of their dreams. Washington Post, 26 Jan. 2022 Not even 100 percent of the correct vibes—glowy mirrors, purple patent swivel chairs with the sheen of hard candy, and walls bedecked with fellow icons like Macy Gray and Lil’ Kim—can assuage the jittery crew. Nerisha Penrose, ELLE, 26 Jan. 2022 Dürer secures commissions for portraits of nervy businessmen like the swivel-eyed Burkhard of Speyer, and portly burghers, and testily measures the results against his Italian masters. Dominic Green, WSJ, 12 Jan. 2022 The chairs are on a swivel and allow guests to face many directions. Rana Good, Forbes, 25 Jan. 2022 Aptly named, the vacuum is a breeze to navigate around furniture and throughout the home thanks to its swivel steering feature. Isabel Garcia, PEOPLE.com, 14 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Both front seats can swivel 360 degrees, allowing easier interaction between all four passengers, and with no engine or driveshafts to accommodate, designers were able to maximize the Star Concept’s interior space. Karl Brauer, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2022 The fanciful concept-car-style interior only has four seats, but each is an elegant-looking lounge chair that can swivel and recline in several different ways. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, 19 Apr. 2022 Rear wheels that can swivel up to 10 degrees plus an array of 18 exterior cameras aid maneuverability and help prevent you from unintentionally backing over Mazda Miatas. Mike Sutton, Car and Driver, 7 Apr. 2022 Both the cushy and heated front driver and passenger seats can swivel to face the interior of the van. Everett Potter, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2022 Similar in size to the contemporary EuroVan at 186 inches long, the Microbus concept packed a second row with chairs that could swivel 180 degrees to face the third-row bench. Caleb Miller, Car and Driver, 9 Mar. 2022 Notecards wish Nathan Chen, a regular there, good luck and young skaters swivel to the beat of their coaches’ instructions. Samantha Masunaga, Los Angeles Times, 11 Feb. 2022 The lightweight Inse vacuum cleaner is designed with a head that can swivel up to 150 degrees and maneuver around obstacles like chairs and tables with ease. Sanah Faroke, PEOPLE.com, 2 Jan. 2022 Instead, two rotating hand grips — situated on his left and right — correspond to twin propellers that swivel 360 degrees beneath the hull. Los Angeles Times, 23 Dec. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of swivel


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1775, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for swivel


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

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Time Traveler for swivel

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near swivel



swivel bridge

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Statistics for swivel

Last Updated

23 Mar 2022

Cite this Entry

“Swivel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swivel. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for swivel


swiv·​el | \ ˈswi-vəl How to pronounce swivel (audio) \

Kids Definition of swivel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a device joining two parts so that one or both can turn freely (as on a bolt or pin)


swiveled or swivelled; swiveling or swivelling

Kids Definition of swivel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to turn on or as if on a swivel He swiveled around to see who was behind him.

More from Merriam-Webster on swivel

Nglish: Translation of swivel for Spanish Speakers


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