Synonyms & Antonyms of swerve

1 to depart abruptly from a straight line or course
  • the car swerved sharply to avoid the squirrel in the road

Synonyms for swerve

Words Related to swerve

Antonyms for swerve

2 to turn away from a straight line or course
  • the bike path gently swerves to the right

Synonyms for swerve

Words Related to swerve

Antonyms for swerve

3 to cause to turn away from a straight line
  • a dog dashed out in front of me and made me swerve my bike to one side of the bike path

Synonyms for swerve

Words Related to swerve

Antonyms for swerve

4 to change one's course or direction
  • the hurricane had been following the coastline before it swerved and headed inland

Synonyms for swerve

Words Related to swerve

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About swerve

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

Learn More About swerve

Time Traveler for swerve

Time Traveler

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

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Thesaurus Entries Near swerve

swept (away)



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Cite this Entry

“Swerve.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on swerve

Nglish: Translation of swerve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of swerve for Arabic Speakers


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