Language: Old English
Origin: swingan 'to beat, go quickly'


1 verb
swing1 W3 past tense and past participle swung

move from a fixed point

[intransitive and transitive] to make regular movements forwards and backwards or from one side to another while hanging from a particular point, or to make something do this:
Let your arms swing as you walk.
a sign swinging in the wind
He was swinging his bag back and forth.
She swung her legs from side to side.
swing something by something
He marched around, swinging the gun by its handle.

move in a curve

[intransitive,transitive always + adverb/preposition] to move quickly in a smooth curve in one direction, or to make something do this:
A black car swung into the drive.
Kate swung her legs out of bed.
swing open/shut
The heavy door swung shut.
Swinging her bag over her shoulder, she hurried on.


[intransitive and transitive] to move your arm or something you are holding to try and hit something
swing something at somebody/something
She swung her bag at him.
swing at somebody/something (with something)
Garson swung at the ball and missed.
He started swinging at me with his fists.

change opinions/emotions

[intransitive and transitive] if emotions or opinions swing, or if something swings them, they change quickly to the opposite of what they were
swing from something to something
His mood could swing from joy to despair.
Do campaign gifts swing votes?
The war had begun to swing in Britain's favor.
swing to the Right/Left (=in politics)

swing into action

to suddenly begin work that needs doing, using a lot of energy and effort:
Politicians have already swung into action.


[intransitive] to sit on a swing and make it move backwards and forwards by moving your legs

arrange something

[transitive] spoken to arrange for something to happen, although it takes a lot of effort to do this:
We managed to swing it so that they will travel together.

swing both ways

informal someone who swings both ways is bisexual

swing the lead

British English to avoid work by pretending to be ill

➔ there's not enough room to swing a cat

at room1 (5)

swing around/round

phrasal verb
to turn around quickly, or to make something do this:
She swung around to face him.
swing something/somebody ↔ around/round
He swung the boat around and headed for the shore.

swing by

phrasal verb

swing by (something)

to visit a place or person for a short time:
I'll swing by the grocery store on my way.

Dictionary results for "swing"
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