swim1 past tense swam past participle swum present participle swimming
to move yourself through water using your arms and legs
move through water[intransitive and transitive]DSS
We swam in the chilly water.
swim around/across etc
She could swim across the lake.
Let's go swimming this afternoon.
kids learning to swim the backstroke
She was the first woman to swim the Channel.
when fish, ducks etc swim, they move around the water using their tails and fins, their feet etc:
water animals[intransitive always + adverb/preposition]
Tropical fish swam slowly around in the tank.
not thinking/seeing properly[intransitive]
if your head swims, you start to feel confused or that everything is spinning around:
My head was swimming after looking at that screen all day.
if something you are looking at swims, it seems to be moving around, usually because you are ill, tired, or drunk:
The numbers swam before my eyes.
to be covered by a lot of liquid:
potatoes swimming in thick gravy
to do or say things which are different from what most people do or say, because you do not mind being different [≠ swim with the tide]