Synonym Chooser

How does the verb swerve contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of swerve are depart, deviate, digress, diverge, and veer. While all these words mean "to turn aside from a straight course," swerve may suggest a physical, mental, or moral turning away from a given course, often with abruptness.

swerved to avoid hitting the dog

Where would depart be a reasonable alternative to swerve?

While in some cases nearly identical to swerve, depart suggests a deviation from a traditional or conventional course or type.

occasionally departs from his own guidelines

When might deviate be a better fit than swerve?

Although the words deviate and swerve have much in common, deviate implies a turning from a customary or prescribed course.

never deviated from her daily routine

When could digress be used to replace swerve?

The words digress and swerve can be used in similar contexts, but digress applies to a departing from the subject of one's discourse.

a professor prone to digress

How are the words diverge and depart related as synonyms of swerve?

Diverge may equal depart but usually suggests a branching of a main path into two or more leading in different directions.

after school their paths diverged

When would veer be a good substitute for swerve?

In some situations, the words veer and swerve are roughly equivalent. However, veer implies a major change in direction.

at that point the path veers to the right

Thesaurus Entries Near swerve

Cite this Entry

“Swerve.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/swerve. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

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