- a male admirer or lover.
- a country lad.
- a country gallant.
Origin of swain
Examples from the Web for swain
The courts ruled against our final appeals late on the night of Nov. 7, around 26 hours before Swain was put to death.
While he was inside, Ms. Nixon returned home, and Swain killed her.
Director J. Kevin Swain said he met Cornelius in 1988, when Swain was a production coordinator on the Soul Train Music Awards.
“I had never seen him more happy and full of joy,” said Swain.
The unusual procedure by Swain of reviewing documents "ex parte" amounted to the judge going an extra mile to be fair.Madoff Secretary Annette Bongiorno Jailed Over Ponzi Millions
Allan Dodds Frank
December 21, 2010
The two boys invited me and Mrs. Swain to stop at Salem to visit them, which we did.Herbert Hoover
The more costly the musical ingredients, the greater the swain's devotion!Jane Journeys On
Ruth Comfort Mitchell
A swain touched then his lute, or whatever you may call it, to his Dulcinea.The Lady and the Pirate
Her own swain was waiting for her, but not for that would she abjure the quest.Country Neighbors
It was in 1843 that Mr. Swain engraved his first block for Punch.The History of "Punch"
M. H. Spielmann
- a male lover or admirer
- a country youth
Word Origin and History for swain
mid-12c., "young man attendant upon a knight," from Old Norse sveinn "boy, servant, attendant," from Proto-Germanic *swainaz "attendant, servant," properly "one's own (man)," from PIE *swoi-no-, from root *swe- "oneself, alone, apart" (see idiom). Cognate with Old English swan "shepherd, swineherd," Old Saxon swen, Old High German swein. Meaning "country or farm laborer" is from 1570s; that of "lover, wooer" (in pastoral poetry) is from 1580s.